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North Spirit Lake plane crash survivor sues airline

Friday January 24, 2014

The lone survivor of the January 2012 Keystone Air Service plane crash at North Spirit Lake is suing the airline and the dead pilot.

Brian Shead, the sole survivor, launched the lawsuit against the airline and pilot Fariborz Abasabady in early January.

A statement of defence had not been filed by mid-January.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada found that poor weather conditions and pilot inexperience caused the plane crash.

The TSB’s investigation report said the crash was caused by weather that led to ice buildups, and the pilot’s relative inexperience with flying the type of aircraft, flying commercial flights to remote airports and flying in winter operations with icing conditions.

The Keystone Air Piper PA31 Navajo aircraft crashed on the frozen lake about one kilometre from the North Spirit Lake airport after circling the community for about 25 minutes while waiting for ground crews to clear the runway.

The TSB reached three findings on the cause of the crash: the decision to approach to an airport not serviced by an instrument approach in adverse weather conditions was “likely the result of inexperience, and a desire to successfully complete the flight;” the decision to descend into cloud and continuing into ice conditions was “likely the result of inadequate awareness of the aircraft’s performance in icing conditions and de-icing capabilities;” and the third factor was the ice buildup on the wings, which would have led it to stall during final approach “at an altitude from which recovery was not possible.”

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