Left wings touched causing mid-air collision
May 16, 2012, St. Brieux, Sask. - A transport official says marks on the wreckage show that the left wings of two planes touched in a mid-air collision over Saskatchewan.
May 16, 2012 By The Canadian Press
Peter Hildebrand of the Transportation Safety Board says the aircraft then plummeted to the ground.
"The wreckage came down almost vertically in its final trajectory,'' Hildebrand said Tuesday at a briefing in Winnipeg.
He said there's no way anyone could have survived the impact.
Five people were killed in the collision between a Piper PA-28 and a Lake Buccaneer amphibious plane Saturday near St. Brieux northeast of Saskatoon. The Piper's three occupants — two men and an 11-year-old boy — were from rural Alberta.
A Regina couple were in the Buccaneer.
Hildebrand described the debris as scattered over several sites in a marsh. "Much of that wreckage is located in and under water.''
He said investigators are sure there was a collision because "some of the wreckage is intermingled.''
Investigators are collecting pieces of the plane for further analysis. They have also gathered information on the weather and the flight plans of the two planes. Those plans indicate the aircraft were probably travelling at a 90-degree angle from each other, Hildebrand said.
There were high scattered clouds and light winds.
Investigators still want to recover flight instruments or electronic equipment that could assist in the investigation. They would also like to interview anyone who may have seen what happened.
Hildebrand said mid-air crashes are rare in Canada. There had been only 16 in the last 10 years before Saturday's crash.
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