It could take a year to complete the investigation into last week’s plane crash that killed former Premier Jim Prentice and three others near Kelowna.
The impact of Thursday night’s crash destroyed the plane except for one engine, part of a wing and a section of landing gear. That doesn’t leave much for investigators looking for a possible mechanical problem. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says there’s also no black box. Beverly Harvey with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada says the plane was not required to be equipped with voice or data recorders even though the TSB urged Transport Canada to change that rule 25 years ago to improve investigations. “We’ve had recommendations, or at least one recommendation, in the past. We would like to see that. It is difficult.”
Transport Canada says a cockpit voice recorder is only required when there are six or more seats on board a multi-engine turbine aircraft that requires two pilots during flight.
Aviation expert, Geoff Falconer, president of AEROSTUDIES, tells Global news a voice recorder in single pilot planes likely wouldn’t be a big help. “If it’s just a single pilot, unless he’s talking to himself all the time, there probably would not be any useful information from a voice recorder.” He adds it’s not feasible to retrofit the thousands or hundreds of thousands of older aircraft with all the modern technology.
Harvey says investigators will do what they can without the black boxes. “The team will be reviewing any electronic components on the aircraft from which we can retrieve any data to help understand the flight profile.”