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Author Topic: Man, three boys killed in plane crash near Waskada TSB investigators en route to  (Read 2567 times)

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Offline Ramjet555

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Man, three boys killed in plane crash near Waskada
TSB investigators en route to scene in southwestern Manitoba

By: Geoff Kirbyson and Alexandra Paul

Posted: 02/10/2013 10:58 PM | Comments: 18

The town of Waskada is mourning the death of a local pilot, the man’s two sons and another boy who was a family friend, all killed in a plane crash Sunday near the southwestern Manitoba community.

RCMP confirmed today the 37 year-old pilot, his sons, ages nine and 10, and another nine-year-old boy died in the crash.

Initial reports indicate the plane left from a private airfield at about 1 p.m, and was reported overdue two hours later.

The downed aircraft was spotted at around 7 p.m. yesterday, about a kilometre from where it had taken off. The crash scene is reported to be in an open field.

Waskada is about 300 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg near the Saskatchewan and North Dakota borders.

One man identified the pilot as Darren Spence, who was involved in a family crop-spraying business. But it's believed Spence had taken the boys on a pleasure flight Sunday afternoon aboard a Cessna 210. By 6 p.m., RCMP were notified the plane was overdue.

The plane was found with the help of Canadian Forces search and rescue technicians, according to RCMP from the Killarney detachment.

"It’s a pretty rough day around here," said the man this morning. He had known Spence for about six years, mostly through work at a chemical company that supplied the mixture for crop dusting.

The man, who did not want his name used, said Spence was always friendly, taking time to make others feel at ease with a kind word or friendly smile.

Meanwhile, a spokesman with the 17 Wing air base in Winnipeg confirmed search and rescue technicians from 435 Squadron from Winnipeg parachuted to the crash scene.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has a team of investigators heading to the site of an accident this morning involving the Cessna 210.

Counsellors specializing in grief and mental health are at the ready at Waskada School as it attempts to come to grips with losing three of its own.

The counsellors were in place by 8 a.m. today as children in the K-12 school arrive for the day.

"We’re fielding calls from parents who have just informed their children (about the plane crash). The school is open as a counselling service right now. It may be like that for the rest of the week," said Brian Spurrill, secretary treasurer with Southwest Horizon School Division.

He said losing three young boys, one each in Grade 4, 5 and 6, is tragic both for the community and the school division.

"It’s all very new for us. We certainly haven’t dealt with anything of this magnitude before," he said. "It’s a very close-knit community a great community school. Our hearts go out to the parents of the one family and to the grandparents of the other family."

Late Sunday night, Waskada Mayor Gary Williams said news of the horrific crash was just beginning to spread.

"It's going to be tough," he said. "... once Monday comes and people start their normal day, their normal routines, it's going to be a real shock.

"(The boys) went to a small school, and every kid sees the other kids every day," he said, adding the family is well known in the community.

The crash scene is about 10 kilometres north of Waskada.

According to a spokesman with the Transportation Safety Board, there was a more than five-hour delay from when the aircraft first sent out an emergency locator transmitter signal and when the wreckage was finally found.

Peter Hildebrand, regional manager of the TSB’s central region, said the signal started at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday but because it was an older model and didn’t carry any information about the owner, investigators had to verify that the signal wasn’t malfunctioning.

After the delay, the Air Force sent out a C-130 to investigate. It discovered the downed Cessna 210-C "around 6 or 7 p.m." about 10 kilometres north of town.

Hildebrand said the signal, referred to as an "ELT" in industry parlance, can be activated in the air by the pilot but it is most commonly set off upon impacting the ground.

"It has an impact switch, which sends out the signal automatically. What happened here, Hildebrand said it’s too early to tell if weather was a factor, but he did acknowledge that it was cloudy and snowing at the time of the crash.

"There are a lot of possibilities. We don’t really have anything (specific) that we’re honing in on right now. We have weather information from Brandon but we’re going to have to get more detailed information from other sources. Weather is one of the things being looked at," he said.

Once activated, the signal is picked up via satellite by the Air Force rescue coordination centre in Trenton, Ont., which then relays the details to local authorities.

we don’t know," Hildebrand said.

The length of the TSB investigation will depend largely on what they find. Hildebrand cautioned that they don’t always do full investigations on accidents involving private aircraft.

"What we’re looking for is to advance transportation safety. With a private aircraft, there is less risk to the travelling public. Technical issues and issues of operational control, those are more for commercial (aircraft). Sometimes the facts are very clear and further investigation wouldn’t bring about any improvement to the transportation system," he said.

The Cessna 210 Centurion is a six-seat, high-performance, retractable-gear single-engine general aviation aircraft which was first flown in January 1957 and produced by Cessna until 1985.





Fatal Plane Crash Devastates Village of Waskada
CJOB News Team reporting

The small town of Waskada in southwestern Manitoba is in mourning after a local pilot, his two sons and a third young boy were killed in a plane crash yesterday evening.

RCMP say the deceased have been tentatively identified as the 37-year-old male pilot, Darren Spence, his 9 and 10-year-old sons, and another 9-year-old boy, all from the Waskada area.

Mayor Gary Williams tells CJOB Spence was an experienced pilot who ran a local crop dusting business.

Grief counsellors will be at the local school today.

For now, Williams says the town has to try to pull together.

"It's going to take some time. It's our worst nightmare."

Williams says the town of about 200 is broken-hearted...

"It is absolutely a tragedy, it certainly is. It's going to be a very difficult week coming up, it's a small community and we're certainly devastated by this news."

He says the kids were well-known in the community.

"They were just active young kids that you would see out in the community. At the rink - on their bikes. They were just a joy to have around. I guess it takes a village to raise a child and we were thinking we were doing our best. This is the worst thing that could happen to a parent or grandparent, and we're just going to have to make our way through this, but it's going to take the whole community and it's going to take some time. It's our worst nightmare."

Killarney RCMP were alerted around 6 pm that the Cessna was overdue.

The wreckage was found by Canadian Forces search and rescuers around 7 pm.

The small Cessna plane had taken off for Brandon around 1 yesterday afternoon. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Audio Files

Manitoba plane crash kills father, two sons and third boy
Global News : Monday, February 11, 2013 10:42 AM

Read it on Global News: Global News | Manitoba plane crash kills father, two sons and third boy

MANITOBA – A plane crash on Sunday near Waskada, Man., killed a father, his two sons and one of their friends, police say.

“We have a school of about 100 students and you know, three of them are gone,” Waskada Mayor Gary Williams said. “So yeah, it’s going to be a very difficult time. They’re the best of friends, and neighbours of everyone in town, basically."

Police said the pilot, 37, his two sons, aged nine and 10, and another 10-year-old boy died in the crash. They were all from the Waskada area. There were no survivors.

The pilot was an experienced operator of a family-owned crop-dusting business, Williams said.

“As far as I know, they were just going to be taking a recreational flight,” Williams said.

Peter Hildebrand of the Transportation Safety Board said the privately registered Cessna 210, which left the Waskada area at around 1 p.m. en route to Brandon, had an emergency transmitter that sent out a signal at 1:17 p.m. Sunday.

The Department of National Defence got the signal, but because it was an older-style transmitter, they had little information and the owner of the plane couldn’t be identified and informed of the transmission, Hildebrand said.

The aircraft was reported overdue at 3 p.m., RCMP said.

A military search-and-rescue crew was dispatched from 17 Wing in Winnipeg and the plane was found at about 7 p.m. approximately half a mile from where it had taken off, RCMP said.

“It’s down in a field,” Hildebrand said. “There’s significant damage to it. It’s a bad scene.”

The six-seater plane isn’t required to have equipment that records flight details, so it will be difficult for investigators to determine what caused the crash, Hildebrand said.

“It’s not always possible to know all of the details.”

Waskada is in the southwestern corner of Manitoba, near the Saskatchewan and U.S. borders.

RCMP, including the RCMP forensic identification section, and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating at the crash site.

Police confirmed there were fatalities but said the names of the deceased won’t be released.
© Global News. A division of Shaw Media Inc., 2013.

Read it on Global News: Global News | Manitoba plane crash kills father, two sons and third boy





TV Winnipeg
Published Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 6:34AM CST
Last Updated Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 11:06AM CST

Four people have died on board a plane that crashed near Waskada Sunday evening.

Gary Williams, the town’s mayor, told CTV News the victims are a local pilot Darren Spence, his two sons and one of the sons’ friends. He said all three children were under 12.

RCMP are not releasing any information on the victims at this time.
Waskada plane crash

Waskada's mayor said Darren Spence's two sons and one of the sons’ friends died along with Spence in the crash in southwestern Manitoba. (image courtesy Facebook)
Winnipeg plane crash

Officials said the plane was located after crashing on Sunday evening, Feb. 10, near Waskada, Man.

Officials said they located the crash site of an overdue Cessna aircraft around 7 p.m.

Williams said the plane crashed 10 kilometers north of the community of only 200 people, just a few kilometers from a runway. The flight was reportedly a pleasure flight.

RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Waskada is located in the rural municipality of Brenda, about 330 kilometers southwest of Winnipeg.

Tune in to CTV News at Noon for the latest details.

Read more: http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/four-dead-in-plane-crash-near-waskada-mayor-1.1151472#ixzz2Kc1nRUBM



In a recent phone call with former ag pilot and aerobatic
champion, Wayne Handley, the topic turned to the
observation of how a number of ground impact accidents
in recent years involve ag aircraft with an empty or nearly
empty hopper. The popular saying is that an accident
happens when a pilot runs out of altitude, airspeed and
experience – all at the same time. While it may be true,
what made this happen?
Have these accidents occurred because the pilot was
too confident of his mastery of the airplane? Think of how
many motorcycle riders kiss the pavement as soon as they
begin to feel that they have mastered the machine. There
can be a tendency to exceed the aircraft’s and one’s own
limitations when the airplane is light, the air is smooth,
and a feeling of flying euphoria takes over. This lack of
judgment is multiplied by the “watch this” tendency when
others are observing.
Today’s high-powered turbine aircraft are capable of
being flown into an attitude that even the best of pilots
can’t recover from without significant loss of altitude!
Now attempt the same recovery near the ground. The
results will probably be fatal!
The bottom line is that everyone should plan their
actions and follow that plan. Spontaneous actions are the
catalysts that get many pilots into trouble.

Picture of Darren Spence at

MANITOBA Darren Spence
Virden Aviation, Box 114, Waskada, MB R0M 2E0

Darren Spence gets
the award for the most enthusiasm
with his new Thrush aircraft.

CAAA: What do you see as
the biggest challenge to the Aerial
Application Industry right now?

Darren Spence: For myself?
Learning and dealing with Transport

CAAA: What advice would you give
to an individual interested in becoming an
aerial applicator today?

Darren Spence: To work hard and
learn as much as a person can from some
of the older members who have seen
and been through so much over the past


Offline Nicolas

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Saw this on AvCan earlier.  Terrible to hear.

Interesting to read the additional info here.  The way the article mentions - assuming it is correct, which usually isnt the case - it sounds like the plane was equiped with a 406 but it wasnt registered.  I wonder what the delay was all about and if that played a factor in the outcome.
Nicolas Roome
C-FBVQ 1970 American Aviation Yankee

Offline Ramjet555

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  • Gender: Male

Transportation Safety Board of Canada deploys a team of investigators to Cessna 210 accident in Waskada, Manitoba

Gatineau, Quebec, 11 February 2013 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to the site of an accident involving a Cessna 210 in Waskada, Manitoba. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

(see pic attached)

Canadian Press | Feb 11, 2013 6:20 PM ET

Darren Spence was a dedicated dad who built his two young sons their own dirt-bike racing track, drove them to hockey practice and, on some weekends, took them up in the air for a ride.

The experienced crop dusting pilot from Waskada, Man., owned a couple of work planes as well as a six-seater Cessna 210, which crashed near the small town on Sunday.

Friends confirmed Monday that Spence, 37, died in the crash along with his sons, who were 9 and 10, and a nine-year old family friend.

“After a weekend, it was a treat to take the kids flying and they would just go and look over the countryside,” said close pal Terry Linto.

    they would just go and look over the countryside

“The kids loved it.”

Investigators said the single-engine plane left a private airstrip near Waskada on Sunday afternoon and headed 110 kilometres northeast to Brandon.

The plane’s emergency beacon went off and a military search-and-rescue plane from Winnipeg found the wreckage in a field about five kilometres from the same airstrip. A rescue crew parachuted down to the crash site. Everyone on board was dead.

Peter Hildebrand, regional manager for the Transportation Safety Board, said it wasn’t yet clear why the plane crashed.

The aircraft was so severely damaged that investigators couldn’t determine if its landing gear was down, he said.

Investigators were looking into both the mechanics of the plane and the weather. Hildebrand said there were low clouds, some fog and snow.

He said investigators were expected to be at the site again Tuesday.

    There’s no question. It’s not pilot error. It’s got to be mechanical

“There’s no question. It’s not pilot error. It’s got to be mechanical,” said Linto, who stressed that his friend always put safety first.

He said Spence grew up flying with his family. His father, Edward, was a spray pilot for about 50 years.

The elder Spence recently had a stroke, said Linto, and relatives are worried that the death of his only son and two grandsons will worsen his health.

Linto said Spence’s passion for flying was matched by his love for his children. He said the single dad raised his boys, Gage and Logan, and also had a young daughter at home.

“You wouldn’t have found a better father and more giving person than Darren.”

Linto said Spence had a quirky sense of humour and a signature smile. He would often fly from his rural property and land at Linto’s farm near Brandon. They’d sit and chat about crops, kids and work.

Spence also had a gravel, sand and construction business. Linto works as a truck driver.

Linto’s youngest boy, 18-year old Ryan, said the two families often hung out. He got Gage and Logan hooked on dirt bikes. And Spence convinced him that he wanted to be a pilot.

“I’ve always wanted to fly, ever since I met him. He made it look so fun … he was supposed to come and take me up in the last couple weeks,” the teen said, bursting into tears.

Waskada Mayor Gary Williams said people in the town of about 200 are devastated. Everyone knew Spence. All three boys were students at the local school.

“It is just about the worst news you could ever imagine,” said Williams. “They are people from our community and it is just a real tragedy. It is devastating.”

He said residents will do what they can to help everyone cope with the crash. Counsellors were also brought into the school to help students deal with the deaths of their young friends.

“It is a small school and to lose three students is a shock.”


‘A treat to take the kids flying’: Man, three young boys die in Manitoba plane crash


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