Cause of August fatal plane crash north of Port Hope undetermined: Transportation Safety Board

Officials have been unable to determine exactly what caused a plane to strike trees and crash north of Port Hope, Ont., killing two people in mid-August.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Safety Board released details on its investigation into the Aug. 13 crash of a small aircraft at the Canton Aerodrome, a private airstrip just north of Port Hope. The report said the airstrip in the area of Kellogg and Massey roads had not been regularly used for five years and has been closed since September.

Read more: 2 Ottawa residents in their 70s dead following plane crash in Port Hope, Ont., police say

The crash claimed the lives of Alvin Crosby, 74, and Suzanne Parent, 72, both from Ottawa.

According to the TSB’s extensive report, investigators determined the four-passenger Piper PA-28 Cherokee struck a tree during takeoff on Runway 14 during a flight to the Ottawa/Rockcliffe Airport.

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The report says around 8:15 p.m., the plane was 1,400 feet down the runway and at a height of 26 feet above ground left when the left wing struck a tree about 40 feet to the left of the runway centreline.

Flight of the plane crash at the Canton Aerodrome on Aug. 13, 2022. Transportation Safety Board

“The aircraft was seen to veer to the left before disappearing from view,” the report states. “The aircraft then struck multiple additional trees before colliding with terrain, and came to rest approximately 220 feet to the left of the runway centreline.”

The wreckage showed signs of tree strikes along both wing leading edges.

The investigation could not find any mechanical issues or malfunctions with the aircraft which had been most recently inspected in March 2022. As well, the weather was deemed “suitable” for the flight with no clouds and winds at three knots.

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Read more: Small plane crashes at Lindsay, Ont. municipal airport: police

The aircraft was also being operated within its weight and balance limitations, the report noted.

The report noted that the plane was not equipped with a data recorder as it was not required by regulation. The report concluded that the exact cause of the crash remains undetermined.

“No data was available from the global positioning system on board the aircraft,” the report stated.

“Given the absence of data, the investigation could not determine the complete sequence of events that led to the aircraft deviating slightly to the left during takeoff, which resulted in the impact with a tree followed by a loss of control and collision with terrain.”

Click to play video: 'TSB says plane carrying seniors crashed on takeoff north of Port Hope, Ont.'

TSB says plane carrying seniors crashed on takeoff north of Port Hope, Ont.

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