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This article was published 21/11/2013 (2452 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Keystone Air Service plane which crashed and killed four people and injured one at North Spirit Lake happened because of icing conditions and pilot inexperience.
Peter Hildebrand, of the Transportation Safety Board, said today those were two of several factors that resulted in the crash onto the frozen lake on Jan. 10, 2012.
"Pilots need to be aware of what their aircraft is capable of doing," he said.
Hildebrand said the flight from Winnipeg to the northwestern Ontario community was routine until they arrived and discovered the airport staff were still clearing snow from the runway from a blizzard overnight.
He said this caused the plane to stay in the air an extra 25 minutes in icing conditions in thick clouds.
The 29-page report says even after damage from the crash and fire, investigators still found ice on the right wing meaning "a significant amount of ice accumulated" which led to the plane not able to stay aloft.
Pilot Fariborz Abasabady, 41, North Spirit Lake First Nation employee Martha Campbell, 38, Aboriginal Strategies president Ben Van Hoek, 62, and accountant Colette Eisinger, 39, all died in the crash.
Lone survivor Brian Shead, who needed surgery for injuries to his ankle and foot, tried in vain to extricate others, but was only successful in getting the pilot out before flames consumed the wreckage.
Hildebrand said Keystone now sends two pilots to fly planes heading into instrument only flight conditions.
As well, Keystone has told all of its pilots that they are supposed to fly the planes out of icing conditions when encountered.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM CST: adds photo
11:13 AM: Writethru, adds photo.
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