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Pilots in Alberta plane crash had used hay field before fatal crash: Transportation Safety Board

A small plane went down near Black Diamond, Alta. on Sunday night. July 30, 2018. Michael King, Global News

The Transportation Safety Board says two pilots in a fatal small plane crash in a southern Alberta field had landed and taken off from the site several times.

One of the pilots died when the four-seat Piper aircraft went down and burst into flames near Black Diamond last July after clipping some hay bales.

The other pilot suffered head injuries but was able to escape from the plane.

READ MORE: Passenger dead after small plane crashes near Black Diamond

The TSB says there had been strong winds in the area and the bales had been stacked in one corner for seven to 10 days to provide protection for the plane.

It says the pilots had flown in and out of the field with the bales in place about five times.

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It also says they had been using the field for about two years.

The board’s report released Friday says investigators could not determine who was the pilot in command on the evening the plane crashed. It noted that both had private licences, but one of them was invalid at the time because a medical certificate had expired.

Watch below: Transport Canada is investigating a fatal plane crash near Black Diamond. Michael King reports. (Filed July 2018).

Click to play video: 'Passenger dead after plane crashes southwest of Calgary' Passenger dead after plane crashes southwest of Calgary
Passenger dead after plane crashes southwest of Calgary – Jul 30, 2018

The safety board also said that while the pilots had buckled up their lap belts, they were not wearing their shoulder harnesses.

There was no indication weather or a mechanical failure were factors.

The pilots’ names were not released.

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