Two die in Canadian cargo crash

TWO pilots have been killed when their small cargo airplane crashed near Vancouver International Airport.

The Canadian Air Charter pilots – Mathew Pedersen and Jeremy Sunderland – were carrying donated blood for the Canadian Blood Service when it appears that they were caught up in the wake turbulence of an Air Canada Airbus A321, causing them to crash into a car park and their aircraft to explode. No one else was killed or injured.

A witness said: “I heard the engines coming over and I thought, ‘My God, that’s low,’ and as I looked up I could see the belly of the plane seconds before he hit the ground. He hit almost nose straight down.”

“The aircraft was in trail of a heavier aircraft and all aircraft generate vortices known as wake turbulence. The process of our investigation will look into that and see if it’s a plausible scenario, and a cause of this accident,” Bill Yearwood, a regional aviation manager with the Transportation Safety Board, told reporters.

“Pilots try to avoid, at all costs, flying into wake turbulence of other aircraft. If they encounter it, it’s uncomfortable for the passengers, etc. It creates a rough ride,” he said.

Mark Wilcox, operations manager for Canadian Air Charters, said the two pilots will be remembered as “great pilots and solid individuals”.

“We’re cooperating with the Transportation Safety Board to get to the bottom of [the accident],” he added.

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