Plane car­ry­ing Lapierre fly­ing too high and fast: TSB

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - MOR­GAN LOWRIE

The plane that crashed with for­mer fed­eral cab­i­net min­is­ter Jean Lapierre and six other peo­ple aboard was trav­el­ling faster and at a higher alti­tude than rec­om­mended, the Trans­porta­tion Safety Board said Wed­nes­day.

The fed­eral agency said the plane crashed in eastern Que­bec last March 29 soon af­ter the pi­lot turned off the au­topi­lot and low­ered the land­ing gear.

Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards, the Mit­subishi MU-2B-60 air­craft “rolled quickly into a steep right bank and de­scended rapidly” be­fore smash­ing to the ground, the TSB wrote in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion up­date.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the air­craft’s me­chan­i­cal sys­tems all ap­peared to be work­ing and the pi­lot was qual­i­fied for the flight.

“No me­chan­i­cal de­fi­cien­cies have been iden­ti­fied with the air­craft’s en­gines, flight con­trols, land­ing gear, and nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems,” it read.

The team has fin­ished ex­am­in­ing the site and gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent, which oc­curred as the plane ap­proached the air­port in Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

The first phase of the in­quiry in­cluded sur­vey­ing the site, an­a­lyz­ing the wreck­age, con­duct­ing in­ter­views and gath­er­ing tech­ni­cal data on weather, air traf­fic con­trol and op­er­a­tions.

Au­thor­i­ties will now study the data be­fore re­leas­ing a fi­nal re­port into the crash, which killed Lapierre, his wife, three of his sib­lings and two co-pi­lots.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have not yet de­ter­mined if weather was a fac­tor in the crash, although the fore­cast in­di­cated a po­ten­tial for “mod­er­ate mixed ic­ing in cloud” and mod­er­ate me­chan­i­cal tur­bu­lence be­low 3,000 feet.

The re­port also noted the model of plane in the crash had also been in­volved in two prior fa­tal ac­ci­dents since 2008.

In that year, the U.S. Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity im­ple­mented a re­quire­ment for MU-2 pi­lots to com­plete a stan­dard­ized train­ing pro­gram fol­low­ing a re­view of the plane’s ac­ci­dent his­tory.

The main pi­lot in the plane car­ry­ing Lapierre had com­pleted the train­ing and was qual­i­fied for the flight in ques­tion, the TSB’s re­port said.


New re­port pro­vides de­tails of plane crash that killed Jean Lapierre, above, and his fam­ily.

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