Saskatchewan air crash 'non-survivable,' TSB says

Transportation Safety Board manager Peter Hildebrand says it may take months to complete a probe into a weekend mid-air collision between two planes in Saskatchewan that left five people dead.
Much of the plane wreckage landed in watery areas, TSB officials say. (Transportation Safety Board)

There was no hope of survival for the five people in the two planes that crashed over Saskatchewan skies on the weekend, a Transportation Safety Board spokesman says.

"This accident was non-survivable," TSB regional manager Peter Hildebrand told reporters in Winnipeg on Tuesday in an update on the Saturday morning collision.

The planes crashed about 12 kilometres west of St. Brieux, Sask., at around 8:45 a.m. CST.

One was a northbound Lake Buccaneer, which Reginans Joy and Eric Jackson were taking from Regina to La Ronge.

The other plane was an eastbound Piper PA-28 Cherokee, which was going from Calgary to St. Brieux. The three who died on that plane include:

  • Eric Donovan, 38, a grain truck driver, and his son Wade, 11, of Mossleigh, Alta.
  • Pilot Denny Loree, a farmer in his 50s from Nanton, Alta.

Hildebrand said it may be several months before the investigation is complete. The probe has been difficult because much of the wreckage is underwater and some of it is strewn over an 800-metre-wide area.

Remains of all the victims have been recovered, the TSB has previously reported.

The flight paths of the two planes were at a 90-degree angle, which might have made it more difficult for the pilots to see each other approaching. Investigators will continue to talk to witnesses and review radio calls. They'll also look at the licensing and experience of the pilots involved, Hildebrand said.