Ultralight plane crash victim Maryanne Hardman 'loved to fly'
Nova Scotia aviation community mourning Hardman, who died in a crash on Sunday
Nova Scotia's aviation community is remembering a pilot who died in an ultralight plane crash in Hants County on Sunday afternoon.
RCMP say Maryanne Hardman, 50, was killed when the plane she was piloting crashed at about 1 p.m. near the Stanley Airport, located about 22 kilometres northeast of Windsor.
Officers say she told the only two other pilots at the airfield when she planned to be back. When she was 10 minutes late they took off in separate aircraft to look for her.
"It didn't take very long at all for them to find the wreckage in what we call the gravel pit area," said Kevin Layden, president of the Stanley Sport Aviation.
The two pilots called 911.
Layden said Hardman's ultralight went down about one kilometre before reaching the runway. She was alone in the aircraft and was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The aircraft apparently came in at a steep angle and it was a very hard impact," said Layden.
He said Hardman had been flying her ultralight for about five years.
"She flew it a lot. She loved to fly. She was at Stanley every opportunity she got," he said.
Transportation Safety Board investigating
There have been accidents at the airport in the past, but Layden says this is the club's first fatality.
"This is the first time we've lost one of our own. I would say that we'll get over it in short order. It'll never leave our memory. Every time we check our airplane over before we go flying, we'll probably be more careful," he said.
"The aviation community is a small community and even all around the Maritimes we have gatherings all summer long. Even if somebody in New Brunswick has an incident, we usually know them personally."
The cause of the crash is unknown.
The RCMP handed the case over to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. It could take months for the board to complete its investigation.
"We look at mechanical issues, we look at weather, we look at pilot training. We take statements. So it's different in different cases," said investigator Murray Hamm.
The club in Stanley leases the airport from Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources.