The single-engine aircraft that went down near Telkwa Sept. 17 was a Piper PA-28 similar to this one. (WikiCommon photo)

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

A single-engine plane crash near Telkwa last week is being treated as low priority by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

A spokesperson for the federal agency said the privately registered Piper PA-28 aircraft was on a training flight from Smithers Airport (YYD).

“During a demonstration of a forced approach, the aircraft was unable to out-climb the rising terrain during the overshoot,” he said in an email. “The aircraft collided into the trees.”

He said there was no fire and the pilots were able to manually activate the Emergency Locater Transmitter (ELT).

Smithers RCMP Staff Sgt. Terry Gillespie said one of the occupants had significant injuries and the other minor injuries, but both have since been released from hospital. The names of the victims are not being released.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage according to the TSB.

The spokesperson said the circumstances of the incident constitute a Class 5 Occurrence, meaning it is of little interest to the TSB as it “has little likelihood of identifying new safety lessons that will advance transportation safety.”

Other characteristics of a Class 5 Occurrence are: little or no release of dangerous goods; minimal damage to property or the environment and of limited public interest outside the immediate area.

“The investigation is limited to data gathering and the data are recorded for statistical reporting and future analysis,” according to the agency’s Policy on Occurrence Classification.

Telkwa Fire Chief Laurence Turney said his department responded to an eyewitness report of an aircraft going down late in the afternoon of Sept. 17. They discovered the single-engine craft just outside the Telkwa fire boundary near Skillhorn Road.

He said the two occupants of the plane had sustained minor injuries and firefighters were able to transport them out of the area to a waiting ambulance.

A Smithers RCMP press release noted the crash was in a location not accessible by vehicles and firefighters had to use ATVs to rescue the two unidentified individuals.

This may have had ended rather differently if not for the quick response by the Telkwa Fire Department, said Smithers RCMP Cpl. Kimberly Delwisch.

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