6 months later: investigation into plane crash that killed 4, including Jim Prentice
It has been six months since a plane carrying four passengers, including former Alberta premier Jim Prentice, crashed north of Kelowna.
The Cessna C500 (Citation) took off from Kelowna International Airport at 9:32 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, and crashed just eight minutes later in Winfield, 11 kilometers away. Everyone aboard the plane — Prentice, pilot Jim Kruk, Dr. Ken Gellatly and Sheldon Reid — died.
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is still in the midst of its investigation and expects it could take up to a year before it concludes.
“These are complex investigations,” a TSB spokesperson told Global News Thursday. “We don’t have a precise timeline.”
What caused the crash has yet to be confirmed.
The TSB won’t comment on its findings before the investigation is complete, as per protocol, but can confirm it hasn’t found any safety issues with the plane that could put the current aviation community at risk.
“The TSB does not wait until its investigation is complete or the final report is published to make important safety information public,” according to the TSB. “Should the investigation team uncover safety deficiencies that present an immediate risk, the board will communicate them without delay.”
There are three phases to the TSB’s investigation: the field (on-site) phase, examination and analysis, and report phase.
The impact of the crash destroyed a fair amount of the plane, as it nose-dived at high-speed, making the on-site investigation a difficult one.
The TSB wrapped up that phase of the investigation six days after the crash.
It revealed there was no flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder onboard the plane, which makes the TSB’s investigation all the more difficult.
Part of the investigation includes trying to reconstruct events leading up to the crash to learn more about what happened. At this point, we know no distress call was made.
The plane was sent to a TSB laboratory in Ottawa for further analysis.
The TSB is also looking at drone footage from the scene, examining aircraft maintenance records and looking at the pilot’s “training, qualifications, proficiency records and medical history,” as part of its investigation.
WATCH: Extensive coverage of the plane crash that took four lives, including that of Jim Prentice.