In its investigation report (A13P0165) released Sept. 30, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found the young student pilot of a Cessna 172 was not able to recover from a flight condition that led to a high-speed descent prior to colliding with terrain near Cache Creek last summer. The pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft suffered fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed.
On Aug. 6, 2013, Lorne Perrault, 16, was flying a Cessna 172 operated by TyLair Aviation Ltd. on a two-hour training flight. The pilot and instructor discussed the training plan before the flight, and exercises were to be conducted in the company’s training area 15 nautical miles west of the Kamloops Airport, as per normal practice. Following manoeuvres in the training area, the aircraft moved north of the practice area to an area of higher terrain and was climbing. Shortly after climbing to 9000 feet, the aircraft disappeared from radar and did not reappear. When the aircraft became overdue, the instructor notified search and rescue. The aircraft and the pilot were found the next day.
The investigation found that the aircraft collided with terrain 30 nautical miles west of Kamloops at about 4500 feet above sea level. The collision occurred at a high speed and a nose-down attitude. The manoeuvres the pilot was conducting were not known, but a nose-drop during some training manoeuvres could lead to a spiral dive if not corrected in time. It is possible that the pilot had begun recovery from a spiral dive and achieved a wings-level attitude, but did not have enough altitude to fully recover. During impact, the aircraft’s cabin was severely compromised, making this accident unsurvivable.
Perrault was a student at St. Ann’s Academy in Kamloops and had logged almost 100 hours in the air.
Investigators also found that the aircraft was not carrying an emergency locator transmitter (ELT). An ELT was not required since the flight was not intended to travel beyond 25 nautical miles from Kamloops, but its removal should have been documented and placarded. The lack of an ELT resulted in a delay in locating the aircraft.