Five hurt as vin­tage bi­plane crashes at B.C. air­show

Ottawa Citizen - - CANADA -

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. • Five peo­ple are in hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing one in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, af­ter a 1930s-era bi­plane crashed shortly af­ter take­off Satur­day at the Abbotsford In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Bri­tish Columbia.

Jadene Mah, a spokesper­son for the Abbotsford In­ter­na­tional Air­show, said there was a pi­lot and four pas­sen­gers on board the de-Hav­il­land Dragon Rapide when it crashed on the run­way at 5:30 p.m., al­most an hour af­ter the air­show ended.

Mah said all five were trans­ported to hos­pi­tal by both road and air — the pi­lot of the bi­plane was in crit­i­cal but sta­ble con­di­tion, one pas­sen­ger had se­ri­ous in­juries, and the three oth­ers were be­ing treated for mi­nor in­juries.

“The most crit­i­cal was the pi­lot, he’s ac­tu­ally sta­ble and go­ing into surgery to­day,” said Mah in a phone in­ter­view Sun­day.

Mah said ev­ery­one in­volved was lucky emer­gency re­sources were still on the air­field and able to re­spond im­me­di­ately.

“They re­sponded in­side a one-minute win­dow, which is a tremen­dous re­sponse time,” added Mah.

Air­show of­fi­cials had said in an ear­lier Face­book post that the air­craft, which Mah called a piece of “liv­ing flight his­tory,” was op­er­ated by a mu­seum, of­fer­ing mem­ber flights.

Mah said the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the crash, and that the air­show will pro­ceed as sched­uled on Sun­day be­cause of the first re­spon­ders and Abbotsford air­port staff.

“We def­i­nitely want to let ev­ery­one know how grate­ful we are for the emer­gency re­spon­ders and the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the air­port personnel here,” she said.

In­spec­tors from the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board were not able to re­spond to in­quiries at the time of fil­ing.

The deHav­il­land Dragon Rapide was built in the 1930s by Bri­tish air­craft man­u­fac­turer deHav­il­land and was de­signed for short­haul flights, car­ry­ing six to eight pas­sen­gers at a time.

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