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TSB officials investigating Kananaskis plane crash that killed six

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has arrived in Kananaskis Country to investigate a fatal plane crash that killed six people Friday.

Two investigators with the independent body spent time near the Heart Creek Trailhead on Sunday.

They tell CTV News their work in that area is temporarily done, but they’ll no doubt be on and around Mount McGillivary this week.

That’s the location in the Rockies the plane went down, while enroute to Salmon Arm from the Springbank Airport.

Six Calgarians were on board: the pilot and five passengers.


There are still so many questions about the plane and its final moments.

One aviation expert believes the TSB team will be looking closely at the aircraft’s load, the pilot’s experience level and the weather.

David Curry says it could have been a risk to take the plane – a single engine Piper PA32 – through the mountains with so many passengers.

“Any crash investigation, that’s the thing you go to right away: were they over gross weight?”

Curry believes even if the plane wasn’t, its size and number of passengers could have made it tough to navigate out of potential trouble.

“Performance is down,” he said. “It doesn’t climb as fast or high, it takes a lot more distance to turn around than a lighter aircraft does.”

TSB investigators told CTV News large pieces of the aircraft were taken to a secure facility to look at.

Of course, there are other factors that could have caused the crash.

“There was weather in the area as well that posed a challenge,” Trevor Reid with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre said.

Friday night’s forecast wasn’t ideal for flying, and rescue specialists revealed on Saturday there were low lying clouds and humidity was high.

That makes for tricky conditions, especially heading west into a setting sun.

The names of the victims have not yet been released. RCMP did reveal they were all on their way to a church function. 

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