The pilot who died along with a passenger after their Cessna aircraft crashed in the Ottawa community of Barrhaven in December 2011 had limited experience flying at night and in poor weather, according to a report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released Thursday.
Pilot Barry Stratton, 55, and passenger Jacques Domey, 63, both were killed after their Cessna 177A crashed near Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on Dec. 14, 2011.
The two men, co-owners of the aircraft along with three others, left Wilkes-Barre Airport in Pennsylvania, just after 5 p.m. ET that day, heading for the Carp Airport.
At about 6:40 p.m., about 44 nautical miles south of Carp Airport, the pilot requested a diversion to Ottawa Airport because of worsening weather.
While on final approach, the aircraft left the final approach path, struck power lines and crashed in a field west of the runway. Both men died as a result of their injuries.
Investigators said the pilot was flying with instruments only due to the weather, but that he had little experience flying in those conditions.
He had also not flown a night flight recently enough to comply with Canadian aviation regulations, which require pilots carrying passengers to have completed five night take-offs and landings in the last six months.
The two men also had several appointments the next day at work, which investigators said might have contributed to their desire to stick to the riskier flight at night and in poor weather.