Recent Crash Near Shelburne

A C-172 crashed a few days ago near Shelburne, Ontario (57351 8th Line SW, Melancthon, Ontario to be exact) there were three occupants. Two went to hospital and the pilot walked away.

After reading media reports (I know, I know..) and the CADORS report I have one comment to make about the situation.

All of the reports mentioned that the pilot reported that they crashed “somewhere between Brampton and Collingwood”.

That’s a pretty big area to cover.

As a pilot you should be aware of your position at all times. When I’m flying x-country (especially at night) I always make sure I know where I am. That way if a situation does arise, I know what position to give in my mayday call (which the pilot of this incident didn’t do).

According to the CADORS report (#2008O1950) a York Region Helicopter and a Canadian Forces C-130 aircraft were dispatched to try to find the crash site. The ELT was not activated. The only method of being able to find the crash site was using Rogers and the 911 call to triangulate an area using cell phone towers (old school cellular 911).

In the end, a farmer walking his dog found them and told 911 the location of the crash.

I am unsure of the time between the crash and the rescue, but even if the ELT failed to activate, an accurate position report by ONE of the THREE pilots on board would have been sufficient to find them quickly.

I look forward to seeing the official TSB report.

References:

Caledon Enterprise

The Peterborough Examiner

7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I fly out of Brampton however I did not know the pilot or the passengers… I certainly hope the 2 that were seriously injured pull through. From what I have hear, there was no mechanical problem with the aircraft, and they had full fuel. It is not clear why the aircraft when down, whether it was pilot error or instrument malfunction, BUT it was a very clear night and weather could not be a factor. Also I found it strange that they did not mention any flight plans and they were not in contact with ATC or FSS. The pilot and front passenger were the ones critically injured and one of them is still fighting for his life; however the rear passenger escaped with minor injuries; and he was the one that called 911.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This post is directed towards the first poster. Maybe you should be a little bit less critical of these three pilots as one has recently passed away and nobody is perfect. You say that you would have given a better position report, but how do you even know the situation they were in at the time of the accident? Maybe they were caught off guard…Maybe they were under extreme stress as their plane was about to crash. Did you ever think of that? Don’t act like you are perfect because it is that kind of attitude that will get you into trouble….I don’t know if that is your TT posted above but you really have no right to ridicule these people with only 14 hours of night logged. I have FAR more time than that and I would never try to Criticize someones flying skills/decision making especially when they are severly injured/passed away. Get a life!

  3. Anonymous says:

    My condolences to the family and friends of the person that passed, I was following this story closely hoping that both of the critically injured would make if through this horrible ordeal. I had not noticed but I had seem him a few times while I was the brampton flying club, and he was a bright, keen and energetic young student; i believe working on his commercial as well.
    As for the cause of the problem, I can only speculate that some major event happened on board that eventually brought the aircraft down.
    I can say with experience, that it is much more difficult (with the exception of identifying traffic) to fly at night than during the day. Ruling out mechanical failure, you have to take account of a bunch of factors, from pilot decision making to fatigue to experience.
    Also, many accidents are a result of one minor mistake… leading to some other minor mistake ultimately leading to something major. It is important to learn from these mistakes, and to minimize the risks, as anything can happen at any time and to any one no matter how much experience you have.

  4. Blake says:

    I would just like to comment on some of the comments that my readers have left.
    Flying at night introduces pilots to new challenges. Finding land marks, judging height, and picking out a field for a force landing is way more difficult than during the day. I know, because I have my night rating.
    My post wasn’t meant as a critique or ridicule of one’s flying skills. It was merely meant as an opinion that I formed based on limited information and media reports (which are often inaccurate).
    There is no point in speculating what happened until the official TSB report is released. Nobody knows the circumstances of what happened. When it does, I will be sure to discuss it on this site.
    The important thing to remember is that we learn from the mistakes that caused this crash. It’s just a shame that it cost someone their life.

  5. Joe says:

    Given the number of aviation accidents in the last couple months of this nature, I find this post very timely. as ATC I get a front row seat to the many long hours that are spend searching for lost pilots (and boaters!) who don’t know where they are when they crashed (or capsized, as the case were) If you aren’t on flight following, maybe even give FSS some position reports!
    In response to previous comments, we need to learn from the mistakes of others, even if it does mean being critical of them. If we weren’t critical of the pilots at Tenerife, where would we be today? and over 500 people died that day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love these buttonville pilots who think they know everything because they can buy nice jackets anf fly out of a seemingly important airport that is being threatened to close down every year. Flying north at night is different then flying in your heavily populated hold my hand tell me exactly what to do control zone. Fly to Elliot Lake at 3 am in the morning and make it back and then tell me how great of a pilot you are. And no GPS, no cheating. Its a black hole out there in the summer. The pilot simply panicked, unfortunately that is what happened. Forget talking to anyone, concentrate on flying the plane period. He should have told London FSS to f off, trim to 65 and guess at a suitable landing area since you cant see nothing out there. And Blake before you talk, get more night hours please. Its easy for us to all sit here and criticize, but I gaurantee you if it was you you would have pissed your pants heavily.

  7. Blake says:

    There is no argument. Flying up north at night is way different than flying “down south”. You’re trying to compare apples to oranges here.
    The pilots in question weren’t flying up north. They were flying in a relatively populated area. In addition they could have utilized flight following with Toronto Terminal. Something I take advantage of at night.
    There is no question in my mind that I would be crapping my pants if I was in the same situation. The important thing to remember is to stay calm, cool headed, and do what you need to do.
    We don’t know what happened in this particular situation until the TSB report comes out (unless you know something that we dont). Who knows, maybe they had a comm failure and couldn’t call for help. Doesn’t mean that they didn’t try.
    I’m unsure where you get your hostility towards pilots at Buttonville. My jacket isn’t very nice (in fact it has a few holes in it!). Did I do something to piss you off? If so, then please send me an email using the “contact me” link at the top of the page.
    If the airport is on the brink of closure, then why are they investing millions of dollars in an expansion?