Pilot rescue

Firefighters and police rescued the student pilot, who was injured in the plane crash on Jan. 21. (Fredericton Fire Department)

A regional investigator with the Transportation Safety Board says a plane that was crash-landed by a student pilot near Fredericton last month ran out of fuel.

Murray Hamm says after visiting the Moncton Flight College and gathering evidence, he's determined there was no mechanical problem with the aircraft.

"It was fuel exhaustion," he told CBC News. "The training school had different layers in place to make sure this doesn't happen, so there are several things that would have combined for that to occur."

Hamm says the college is doing its own investigation into the matter, but as far as the TSB is concerned, there will be no further review.

"We won't get into specific details about what occurred. But we can determine there isn't enough evidence that there's a high probability that we could advance safety, because the circumstances are well-known," he said.

A 22-year-old student from the Fredericton campus of the Moncton Flight College made an emergency landing late on the night of Jan. 21.

The plane, which went down in a wooded area near Noonan at about 11 p.m., was destroyed.

The pilot, who was rescued a couple of hours later and airlifted to the hospital with injuries, has reportedly since been released.

Moncton Flight College CEO Mike Tilley says the internal review to figure out what might have led to the plane running out of fuel is ongoing. There's no word on when it might be complete.

Former Moncton Flight College CEO Mike Doiron says it may not be a simple case of the pilot leaving with too little fuel.

"I think it's very, very important that people understand that there's other reasons why fuel exhaustion may have occurred," he said.

Doiron says something as simple as an improperly secured fuel cap could have been a contributing factor.

He says the important thing now is for the school to figure out the exact cause — and make sure that it doesn't happen again.