News Local

Small plane in fatal Beeton crash built from a kit: official

Bob Bruton

By Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner

OPP officers escort the Coroner to the site of a fatal plane crash along County Road 1 (8th Line), west of Beeton, Saturday afternoon. Witnesses report a small plane clipped hydro wires while attempting a landing and crashed into a stand of trees. The male pilot, who was the lone occupant of the craft, was killed.
J.T. McVeigh Photo

OPP officers escort the Coroner to the site of a fatal plane crash along County Road 1 (8th Line), west of Beeton, Saturday afternoon. Witnesses report a small plane clipped hydro wires while attempting a landing and crashed into a stand of trees. The male pilot, who was the lone occupant of the craft, was killed. J.T. McVeigh Photo

NEW TECUSMETH – A man is dead following a small plane crash near Beeton on Saturday afternoon, October 17.

OPP say shortly before 3:30 p.m. the plane struck  hydro wires along County Road 1 ( 8th Line) of New Tecumseth, west of Beeton, and crashed into a wooded area.

"It appears he was attempting to land," said Nottawasaga OPP Const. Harry Lawrenson.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is investigating.

Chris Krepski of the TSB said it was an amateur-built aircraft, known as a Glasair. They are bought in kits and assembled, but there is federal oversight.

“This aircraft contacted some electrical wires, while on approach to land and the pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured,” said Krepski, noting that the plane caught fire after it crashed.

He said the pilot was attempting to land at an airstrip, although was unsure if it was a private or commercial one.

The pilot has not been identified by OPP.

A resident of the area, who asked not to be identified, said there were snow flurries at the time.

Another neighbour, who lives on the 6th Line, said she heard the plane's engine 'sputtering' as it flew by.

A resident on County Rd. 1, who also asked not to be identified, said he saw the aircraft bank before it crashed, then saw a plume of smoke.

Authorities say the plane was on fire, which was brought under control by New Tecumseth firefighters.

The TSB sent two investigators to the crash site Saturday and continued to work at the scene Sunday.

The crash resulted in a loss of power for more than 3,400 PowerStream customers in the Tottenham and Beeton areas. Power was restored to all customers by 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

County Road 1 between Tottenham Road and Dayfoot Street was closed for several hours for the investigation.

* with files from J.T. McVeigh and Brian Rodnick