Author Topic: Crash: Piper Cherokee PA-28-140 C-FRZH VFR - from Quebec City - Jan. 06, 2009  (Read 46219 times)

kea001

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Two were killed, including the pilot, while a man and a woman survived with serious injuries.
The woman managed to dial 911 which, for some reason, got picked up in Smiths Falls, Ontario which
is southwest of Ottawa.  Ironically, the government body that regulates cellphone service in Canada
announced today that cellphone companies have to upgrade the 911 services offered to customers to
be in line with the standards in the U.S.

But that's another story...
(and it's right here),
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/07/Canadian_cell_phone_911_overhaul_ordered/UPI-68551231339704/

...and I don't think it has anything to do with the outcome of this story, except that the initial call for assistance
came via Smiths Falls police to CFB Trenton rather than CYQB air traffic control. 

One thing that strikes me as odd is why people don't dress for disaster.  (FYI: I'm not a pilot)

Between the time of the initial 911 call and the arrival of responders was something like 3 1/3 hours. The temperature was -15° C. (+5° F.) or thereabouts. And the area of the crash was not really that remote, although being dense forest and low ceiling, it proved to be a challenge for rescue personnel.

"They were not wearing warm winter clothes," said rescuer Ghislain Fontaine. "When we found [the woman], she was completely frozen.
She could not talk, her face was frozen and her legs felt like wood."

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This starts from initial contact with ground.

From what I can gather. the pilot flew right into a ski hill; Massif Du Sud - 3,000 ft., just south of Buckland, Quebec.
The controller terminates contact and 5 minutes later the pilot asks about weather conditions and compass heading.
This 5 minutes of dead air is cut out as well as other areas for clarity.  







Pilot Jesse Barrie from Pakenham, Ontario





More photos here:
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/justice-et-faits-divers/200901/06/01-815330-une-derniere-conversation-radio-a-donner-le-frisson.php

Globe and Mail article:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090106.wplane0106/BNStory/National/home

Sound file edited from:
CYQB -  Jan 06-2009 0930
CYQB -  Jan 06 2009 1000

« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 04:07:50 PM by kea001 »



Offline aviator_06

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Not sure if it's just me but, it sounds like the pilot wasn't very prepared for the flight.

Offline Flyingnut

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>> One thing that strikes me as odd is why people don't dress for disaster.  (FYI: I'm not a pilot)

I had a friend of mine, who was a Vietnam era B-52 tail gunner, tell me once:  " Hope for success, dress for egress."
Marty
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8 NW of KORD

Offline jahulian

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Not sure if it's just me but, it sounds like the pilot wasn't very prepared for the flight.

I'm not sure where you're from, but about a month ago, I flew VFR from Montreal to St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu (approx. 20mins in a C172) and I had to go back because all I saw was white fields.  Sounds like he might have experienced a white-out.  He says he reported snow.

That last minute of the clip is literally bone-chilling... just hope that wasn't my friend's dad.

Offline englishpilot

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So sad, very chilling audio but thank you for posting.

The sad thing about aviation is that us pilots benefit from other people's trajedies with the use of retrospect. 

So sad it has to be that way.

God bless them and their families.
I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe.

Offline fholbert

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One thing that strikes me as odd is why people don't dress for disaster.  (FYI: I'm not a pilot)

If you take your car on a two hour trip do you dress for disaster or put you coat, gloves, hat in the back seat?

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com

kea001

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If you take your car on a two hour trip do you dress for disaster or put you coat, gloves, hat in the back seat?

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com

I used to do that, until a few minor incidents with black ice and snow covered ditches and whatnot,
although I have drawn the line at wearing CO2 inflatable life jackets when using bridges to cross rivers. 
Considering Toronto's snow removal capabilities, or lack thereof, I dress for disaster when taking public
transit.

By the way Frank, you have a most excellent website.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 09:26:07 AM by kea001 »

Offline KSYR-pjr

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If you take your car on a two hour trip do you dress for disaster or put you coat, gloves, hat in the back seat?

Good point.   However, logic suggests that the probability of being able to retrieving survival gear from a car after an accident would be higher than from a small aircraft accident.  As long as it is in a car it is probably going to still be useful - hence the recommendation that one carries a shovel, blanket, and water in the car's trunk for longer trips in a winter climate.

Compare this with the aviation saying that your survival gear is what you have on and your luggage is what you store in the aircraft.

With that pointed out, I admit that I now drive wearing a heavier coat, hat, and gloves in winter ever since learning about this survival tip for flying.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline fholbert

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 As long as it is in a car it is probably going to still be useful - hence the recommendation that one carries a shovel, blanket, and water in the car's trunk for longer trips in a winter climate.

You're kidding... right?



Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 07:32:28 PM by fholbert »
Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com

Offline fholbert

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One thing that strikes me as odd is why people don't dress for disaster. 

Call me strange but I always figured help will be there in a few minutes?

 

Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com
Frank Holbert
http://160knots.com

Offline T210 Driver

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Was reading the french transcripts between YBC controllers and the pilot.  Looks like he was lost.  Pilot was seeking a heading to St. Jean (Port Joli) with 208 miles to go. 

Plane was below radar coverage and it look to me the pilot took the heading suggestion from ATC (127deg.)  ATC had the plane tracking on a 127 degrees heading but the pilot stated he was on a 160 heading (Gyro, I assume had precessed).
Seems that the pilot did not correct his gyro and  turned 30 degrees left and nailed the top of the mountain just above the ski lifts.   See pics of mountain:

Provider of  KBTV Feeds  (118.3 + 121.1)  
Provider of MPV 52  Boston ATC Remote at MPV  (135.7)
GA Maintenace Center with Avionics Support  based at KBTV

Offline challenger

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Classic case of unprepared pilot. Very sad to hear that audio...

ATC might be blamed in this. From what I understood from the audio (kind of hard), controler talked about VRF route at 6500 and 7500' and advised him to stay under them. (the controller might have asumed that the plane was on the correct course when he was not...) Probably just too low for that part of Quebec (mountains).... Will wait to hear what the investigation find out...

Offline Braun

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The controller said nothing of the sort. What he said is that if he wanted flight following for his flight that at 3500 the radar would lose him in 15-20nm and that he'd have to climb to 5500 or 7500 in order to stay under radar coverage. I don't see how ATC can be to blame #1 Crash is outside controlled airspace so terminal has no responsibility over the aircraft and is just helping him out of goodwill because it was definately not ATC's responsibility. #2 A VFR aircraft is alway responsible for terrain avoidance and maintaining VFR no matter what, even ATC assigns a VFR a heading (which did not happen in this case they were only suggested) the aircraft must remain VFR. To me it just sounds like a pilot who go caught in VMC conditions in an area he did not know very well, tried to make a turn back towards the airport and either spiraled down because he lost all visual markers and lost it or just didn't see the mountain and hit it. But I don't see at all how ATC can be remotely responsible for this incident.

Offline KSYR-pjr

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To me it just sounds like a pilot who go caught in VMC conditions in an area he did not know very well...

Is it possible you meant IMC, not VMC?
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Braun

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Yeah sorry that is what I meant hehe! My brain was IMC this morning :P

Offline Miskazlata

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I'm not a pilot, but, just being a VFR pilot, how can you fly in complete night in such conditions?
Is it legal, or dit the pilot decide that by himself?

Offline KSYR-pjr

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I'm not a pilot, but, just being a VFR pilot, how can you fly in complete night in such conditions?
Is it legal, or dit the pilot decide that by himself?

The Canadian pilots who frequent this forum can certainly add more, but I (as a US pilot) believe there is a night rating add-on to a Canadian VFR certificate.  Thus, assuming this pilot had his night rating he was legal.  Here in the States night flying is part of the "VFR" private pilot curriculum so a pilot receiving his PPL is qualified to fly at night (barring any medical limitations, that is).  No add-on needed.

A common theme in aviation is this:  What is legal is not always safe.  Nighttime adds a whole host of challenges to flying, including the fact that one cannot always see deteriorating weather and/or mountainous terrain until it is too late.  Nighttime aviation requires a very diligent plan, which involves understanding weather, studying sectional charts for minimum terrain avoidance altitudes and nearest airports en route, calculating proper fuel and healthy reserves, and route and method of navigation.  Nighttime is not the time for a spontaneous jump in the aircraft for a quick hamburger trip as one would do in an automobile.

Several years ago I personally experienced flying into a cloud during a very hazy VFR night flight.  The visibility was about 6 miles (legal for VFR) and the sun had just set perhaps 30 minutes earlier.     Fortunately for me I was well above minimum terrain avoidance altitudes, the aircraft had modern avionics including a GPS and moving map, the aircraft was on autopilot, and I was instrument-rated.  Nonetheless I was shocked at how I didn't see it coming until suddenly everything around us disappeared. 

When this happened I immediately contacted ATC, confessed the problem, and requested what is called a pop-up IFR clearance.  Since I was not in complex airspace (this was a relatively sleepy ATC radar service area one airspace away from my home airport) the controller was very accommodating and the entire unexpected event, including my elevated heart rate, was over in a minute.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Miskazlata

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Thank you for your reply,  i'm about to take lessons for my VFR license, and i never thought you could fly at night with no instrument rating! As you said, what's legal is not always safe, and i wouldn't try flying at night without proper training.
It means you're allowed to fly just directing yourself with the lights of the cities and a map?  :-o


Offline KSYR-pjr

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It means you're allowed to fly just directing yourself with the lights of the cities and a map?  :-o

Technically, yes, but again the above considerations really need to be made prior to doing just that. 

Contrary to this discussion, nighttime visibility can actually be amazingly good (assuming clear air and a pilot with normal eyesight).   I am continually amazed at how bright the clear night sky is with a full moon above and a snow-covered landscape below.  Once a pilot's eyes adjust to night (no bright lights for at least 30 minutes prior) and assuming no meteorological obstructions it is actually brighter than you imagine.

Some of the benefits of flying at night include smoother air, better performance from the aircraft (due to cooler temperatures), very pretty views, less air traffic and easier to spot other air traffic.

In my opinion flying at night is something you should respect and enjoy, not fear, when you receive your rating.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Miskazlata

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I'm not afraid of flying at night, i think it must be even better than i thought reading your description (I didn't knew that you could really "see" the ground with good conditions), but if i do it, i'd prefer to have better knowledge with all my instruments if something bad comes with the weather. I sail occasionnaly, and i know weather can completely change in 5 minutes (At night it could be more but for me it's possible)
Thank you for your useful replies.

Offline Kathie

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This was a very upsetting accident on many levels.  I knew the pilot, I delivered his plane to him last February when it was imported to Canada.

He was instrument rated and a commercial pilot, he wanted to fly with the airlines.  His dad bought him the plane to build hours. 

I was stunned to hear him tell the ground controller he was flying VFR.  Then later to hear him ask for a heading!  You can hear the surprise in the terminal controller's voice at that one, too.  He had no business taking three lives over the terrain he would be crossing (northern Maine is pure wilderness - I've flown it) in night IMC on a VFR plan, having not even planned it out to the point where he had his heading noted on a piece of paper somewhere in that cockpit. 

I am sorry for his parents, who are wonderful people.  I'm sorry for the friend who was lost, and his family, and for the young lives damaged with head injuries.  I wonder how they're doing and if they'll make a full recovery.

And I contrast this young man's attitude with that of the man who put the Airbus into the Hudson River yesterday, then walked the plane twice, searching for anyone still aboard, as the plane was starting to sink.  That man was a professional pilot. 

Offline KSYR-pjr

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He was instrument rated and a commercial pilot, he wanted to fly with the airlines. 

His advanced rating when contrasted with the outcome of this flight is indeed very surprising.

A few years ago we had a similarly distressing night fatal accident whereby a young male pilot flew solo in the cold November night from New York state to his home airport in Wisconsin, what must have been right at the edge of the aircraft's no wind fuel window.   This pilot opted to fly direct, disregarding the vast and cold Lake Michigan over which he would be flying without flotation devices and apparently disregarding his actual fuel usage en route.  

Predictably, his single engine Piper ran out of fuel with less than 10 miles until shoreline and he ended up ditching the aircraft perfectly in the dark, cold lake that night.  This pilot was able to use his cellphone to call 911 to report that he had just ditched in the lake but sadly the aircraft sank as he was talking to the dispatcher.  His last moments of life as he was cast into the near freezing water was captured on the 911 call recording.   Search and recovery found the aircraft and the cellphone, but they (AFAIK) never found his body.

How one makes decisions pertaining to GA flight is the subject of countless aviation safety articles.
Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline Kathie

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I remember that Lk Michigan accident, listened to the radio between ATC and the jetliner trying to assist.  How horrifying.

Offline flydee

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Hi everyone, does any one happen to have the Live ATC recording for this crash? I am working on a human factors presentation for my college class, and I am wondering if anyone happens to have the recording as it is down on the site. Please let me know!

Thanks,

Dee

Offline Eric M

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Hello Flydee - you'll see the audio file still attached to the first post in this thread (on page one). I just downloaded it, and it works fine.