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Little room for error when towing banners by plane, ex pilot says after Quebec crash


October 4, 2021
By The Associated Press

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MONTREAL — An ex-professional pilot says that while it’s too soon to say what caused a plane pulling a marriage proposal banner to crash near Old Montreal over the weekend, there’s little room for error when towing banners by air.

Julien Placa, who still flies recreationally, said today in an interview from Montreal most crashes are due to a “combination of factors,” adding that there’s rarely one single reason why a plane goes down.

Plane at centre of deadly crash in Montreal was carrying marriage proposal banner

He says towing banners means engines have to work harder to maintain minimum speeds, putting them at risk of stalling, and he says because they fly low, there is little time to react if things go wrong.

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While he believes towing banners is safe under the right conditions, he says factors such as air humidity, the plane’s weight, low cloud cover and human error can all cause a plane to get into trouble.

A passenger died and the pilot was seriously injured in Saturday’s crash, which occurred around 6 p.m. near Old Montreal and at the site of a busy music festival.

The Transportation Safety Board said today the plane’s engines are being sent to a lab in Ottawa for analysis, adding that it’s still too soon to determine what caused the crash.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2021