Darkness, steep descent played role in fatal plane crash: investigators

WINNIPEG – Investigators say darkness and low-intensity runway lights played a role in a deadly plane crash near Pickle Lake in northern Ontario.

The Transportation Safety Board says the pilots of the Aerofab Lake 250 aircraft probably lost their bearings due to a lack of visual clues.

The small plane came in at six times the normal rate of descent and hit the ground on the night of Oct. 16, 2012, killing both pilots and one of two passengers onboard.

The safety board’s final report says the darkness and lack of visual clues east of the runway contributed to the pilots losing perspective on how quickly the plane was descending.

The crash killed Michel Nadeau, who was 57; Bernard Mailloux, who was 54; and 27-year-old Yanick Fournier – all of Trois Rivieres, Que.

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The privately owned plane was travelling from Lac La Biche, Alta., to Trois Rivieres with planned stops in The Pas, Man., and Pickle Lake.

The surviving passenger had minor injuries.

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