A plane that crashed into the Athabasca River near Jasper, Alta., in July stalled and entered into a spin shortly after takeoff, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
The TSB released its findings into the fatal plane crash on Friday. It happened on July 21, leaving the passenger of the plane dead and severely injuring the pilot.
According to the TSB, the Cessna 150J aircraft took off from the Jasper Airport, destined for Hinton, at 1:23 p.m. that Sunday.
The plane was about half a nautical mile — nearly one kilometre — away from the airport when it “stalled and entered a spin to the left,” crashing into the river.
A Garmin GPSMAP 196 that was on the plane was discovered at the crash site. Just before the plane lost control, the GPS recorded a reduction in ground speed from 83 miles per hour (134 kilometres per hour) to 64 m/h (103 km/h), analysis of the device showed.
A pilot at the Jasper airport saw the crash and called 911, the TSB said. A number of passersby on Highway 16 also saw the impact and rushed to the scene to help. Witnesses helped the pilot and passenger to shore, the TSB said in its investigation report.
EMS crews arrived shortly after and took the pilot via air ambulance to hospital in Edmonton with severe injuries. The 31-year-old passenger was killed in the crash.
The TSB said all of the plane’s major components were accounted for at the crash site. The aircraft was equipped with a 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitter, which activated on impact. The aircraft was also within the certified weight and balance limits.
“Based on examination of the wreckage and the photo and video information collected, it was determined that the engine and flight controls had been operating normally prior to impact,” read the investigation report.
The temperature in Jasper shortly before the crash was 24.4 C and winds were southerly at five to 10 knots.
The TSB said Friday the investigation into the fatal crash is now closed.