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Plane hit power line before crash near Edmonton that killed well-known pilot: TSB

Friends and family have identified Ken Fowler as the pilot who died following a small plane crash near Thorsby, Alta., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.
Friends and family have identified Ken Fowler as the pilot who died following a small plane crash near Thorsby, Alta., on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Courtesy / Team Rocket Aerobatics

The Transportation Safety Board says a plane that crashed last year southwest of Edmonton killing the two people on board, had collided with a power line.

The Harmon Rocket two-seat sport plane took off Sept. 26 from Rocky Mountain House and went down near Thorsby before catching on fire.

RCMP said at the time that the pilot, a 59-year-man, and a passenger, a 48-year-old woman, both from Rocky Mountain House, were killed.

The board says the pilot was a well-known air-show performer and was cleared to perform aerobatic manoeuvres at any altitude.

Global News identified the pilot as Ken Fowler, and friends and family said he had been involved in aviation for over 40 years.

Fowler had a career in search and rescue. When he retired, he became an air-show pilot who performed for millions of people.

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There was no public air show the day of the crash and the purpose of the trip was to gather with friends for an afternoon of go-karting next to an airfield.

Read more: Pilot killed in crash near Thorsby remembered as ‘skilled, beloved’ Alberta aviation industry member

The board says the pilot was unfamiliar with the area and, while doing a second circuit of the field, went from flying low over the racetrack into a climb and struck an unmarked power line.

Two people died following a plane crash on Sept. 26, 2020, near Thorsby, Alta. Global News

The board’s report, released Wednesday, says low-level flight is very risky because not all hazards, such as power lines, can be seen in time to avoid a collision.

The Harmon Rocket is an aircraft regularly seen at air shows across North America.

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–with files from Allison Bench, Global News

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