The plane carrying former federal MP and Quebec journalist Jean Lapierre and his family was travelling higher and faster than it was supposed to when it crashed in the Îles de la Madeleine on March 29, 2016, according to a report by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
The crash killed Lapierre, his wife, sister, two brothers and the plane’s pilot and pilot-passenger.
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The private Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 aircraft left Saint-Hubert airport at 9:31 a.m. on the day of the accident.
“The autopilot was being used to control the aircraft throughout the flight,” the report states.
The TSB ruled there were no mechanical issues with the plane’s engines, flight controls, landing gear and navigation systems.
“It rolled quickly into a steep right bank and descended rapidly,” the report continues.
“The aircraft continued its rapid descent and impacted the ground in a near-level attitude.”
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The standard speed prior to initial approach is 150 knots, slowing to 125 knots, the TSB notes.
“In this instance, the aircraft’s speed prior to the initial approach fix was 240 knots, and past the final approach fix the speed decreased below 175 knots,” explained the report.
A graph of the flight carrying Jean Lapierre and his family: actual approach, compared with the standard approach.
Transportation Safety Board
According to the report, the pilot was certified and qualified for the flight in accordance with existing regulations.
He had about 2,500 hours total flight time, and about 140 hours on the MU-2.
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The pilot-passenger, occupying the right-hand cockpit seat, was not qualified to fly the MU-2, however a second crew member was not required to be there.
He was invited to help with some basic piloting functions.
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The TSB’s investigation is continuing.
It will now focus on finding out why the plane was flying so fast, evaluate the pilot’s training level and determine if weather was a factor in the crash.