TSB Releases Initial Report on Smithers Area Plane Crash

John Crawford

The Transportation Safety Board has released its first update on its investigation into Saturday's small-plane crash north of Smithers Landing that killed three people.

The board says it has started a class-three investigation, analyzing safety issues that could result in recommendations from the agency.

The Cessna 182-E, operated by Lakes District Air Services, departed Burns Lake that morning with a pilot and three passengers aboard, to conduct aerial mapping north of Smithers, under contract with the B-C Wildfire Service. 

It was surveying the damage caused by last summer's wildfires in the area.

The TSB's initial report says about three hours into the flight, the pilot transmitted a Mayday before communication was lost.

The wreckage was found about 50 nautical miles north of Smithers, near the Babine River.

Investigators say the plane was destroyed due to a collision with the terrain, but there was no post-impact fire.

[PHOTO:   Wreckage of  plane north of Smithers Landing -- Transportation Safety Board]

The crash killed the pilot -- whose name hasn't been released yet -- as well as two passengers.

Lorne Borgal was the CEO of Precision Vector Aerial, and the former president of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort at Smithers.

His widow, Nancy Treiber, described him as a loving husband, father and grandfather.   

Twenty-six-year-old data analyst Amir Sedghi was also killed.  
The fourth person on the plane survived the crash, and was long-lined from the crash site and then flown to a Vancouver hospital.

The man, who works for a US company, is expected to recover.  

The BC Coroners Service is also looking into the crash.


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