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Investigators to probe Labrador crash

May 31, 2010, Cartwright, N.L. - Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board are on their way to the site of a plane crash that killed two people last week in eastern Labrador.


May 31, 2010
By The Canadian Press

Michael Cunningham, a lead investigator with the agency, says the team of three investigators will look into why the aircraft flew into a plateau at cruising speed last Wednesday.

He says the aircraft was flying at a speed of 160 kilometres per hour and the aircraft was in "level flight'' when it had a violent collision with land at an altitude of about 1,100 metres.

Cunningham describes the twin-engine aircraft as being "in horizontal flight'' when it "clipped the top of a plateau'' in a wilderness area about 90 kilometres west of Cartwright.

He says the visibility was poor and the weather was windy and snowy at the time.

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Both the pilot and the passenger were killed when their two-engine Piper Navajo crashed during the flight coming out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Cunningham says he doesn't believe the lack of an emergency locator beacon on the aircraft slowed the search, because NORAD's radar provided search and rescue officials with precise information about the site of the crash.

He says the problem was that bad weather made it impossible for the Cormorant helicopter to actually reach the site until Friday night.