British Columbia

Survivors from 2011 YVR plane crash granted access to cockpit voice recorder

Survivors of a fiery plane crash just outside Vancouver's international airport have won access to an audio recording of what was happening in the cockpit before their aircraft plummeted from the sky.

Supreme Court justice rules granting access to the recorder serves a public good

Two people were killed and several others injured when the small plane broke into pieces as it crashed on approach to Vancouver's international airport in October 2011. (Steve Smith/Canadian Press)

Survivors of a fiery plane crash just outside Vancouver's international airport have won access to an audio recording of what was happening in the cockpit before their aircraft plummeted from the sky.

In a decision released Friday, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the B.C. Supreme Court said granting access to the cockpit voice recorder serves a public good that outweighs any confidentiality concerns.

Hinkson ordered the Transportation Safety Board to provide the recording to the survivors and Northern Thunderbird Air Inc. after concluding it contained no "sensational or disturbing" communication.

In October 2011, a twin-engine plane carrying two pilots and seven passengers turned back shortly after taking off from Vancouver, only to crash about a kilometre short of the runway, clipping a car in rush-hour traffic and slamming into a lamppost.

All the passengers were seriously injured and both pilots died in hospital.

A Transportation Safety Board report released two years later concluded the accident likely resulted from a loose oil cap on the plane's left engine.