British Columbia

TSB says pilot decision-making, winter conditions were factors in 2018 Abbotsford air crash

Six people were injured after an Island Express aircraft skidded off the runway at Abbotsford International Airport in February 2018.

Plane with 10 people on board was taking off for California; 6 were seriously injured

Four people suffered minor injuries when this Island Express Air plane skidded off the runway with 10 people on board at Abbotsford International Airport early Friday afternoon (Nicolas Amaya/CBC)

The Transportation Safety Board says pilot decision-making and winter weather conditions were factors in a 2018 accident where an Island Express Air plane skidded off the runway at Abbotsford International Airport.

The plane, carrying the owner-pilot of Island Express and nine family members, crashed into the ground shortly after take off on Feb. 23.

It had been snowing heavily shortly before departure. At the time of the crash, people from a variety of nearby businesses said visibility at the airport was poor because of blowing snow.

The pilot and five passengers were seriously injured, and the four remaining passengers had minor injuries. The aircraft was destroyed by the impact.

The TSB investigation found the pilot's decision to take off 14 minutes after heavy snowfall was affected by his desire to complete the flight with his family. There were severe ground icing conditions that made conditions difficult for take-off.

The report also found the pilot and one passenger received head injuries because they did not wear the available shoulder harnesses.

After the accident, Island Express voluntarily stopped operations, and Transport Canada suspended the company's operating certificates.

The airline has since changed ownership, made personnel changes and modified training procedures. Their operating certificates were reinstated on June 26, 2018.