No fault found in Nov. 4 Carp mid-air plane collision

CARP – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has found no fault following a mid-air collision between two airplanes over Carp Nov. 4.

The board released its findings in to a deadly mid-air collision last November that killed one of the pilots today (May 2).

The report has cleared the pilot of the surviving plane, finding neither plane saw each other before they came into contact near the Carp Airport.

The investigation determined the wheel apparatus of the Piper hit the left wing of the Cessna, shearing much of it off and causing the Cessna to become “uncontrollable.” The collision caused the Cessna to enter “a steep dive, striking the ground in a near-vertical attitude.”

The report does not assign blame in the collision. The board’s report ruled out psychological factors, like pilot fatigue, as a cause of the crash, as well as pilot error, bad weather, and technological malfunctions. The report found that both pilots were operating under visual flight rules, and that the other plane, which landed safely (a Piper airplane) did not see the Cessna before contact.

The report determined that the two pilots simply did not see each other and did not have access to technology that may have been able to prevent the crash.

“The two aircraft in this occurrence were operating under visual flight rules in uncontrolled airspace,” the report said. “Neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time to avoid a mid-air collision, partly owing to the inherent limitations of the see-and-avoid principle. Relying solely on visual detection increases the risk of collision while in uncontrolled airspace.”

The report also found technology that might have prevented the crash does exist but was not available to the pilots at the time.

“The Piper avionics equipment was capable of displaying traffic advisory information to the pilot,” the report reads.

This data “is provided by ground-based radars…however, this service is not currently available in Canada. Therefore, the Piper’s instrumentation would not have been able to display the presence of the Cessna, whether or not its Mode C transponder had been emitting a signal.”