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TSB will press to have Grand Manan crash answers in 60 days - Aug. 18, 2014


Vern Faulkner/Courier
The largely intact shell of the Atlantic Charters Piper aircraft lays askew in a field near the runway of the Grand Manan Airport.

Vern Faulkner
Grand Manan
Two investigators with the federal Transportation Safety Board remain on Grand Manan today, conducting their investigation into Saturday’s fatal crash of an air ambulance flight.
The aircraft, owned by Atlantic Charters, crashed short of the airport runway before dawn, Saturday morning.
Killed were paramedic William “Billy” Mallock, 50, and Atlantic Charters owner and pilot Klaus Sonnenberg, who was flying the aircraft.
Michael Cunningham, Atlantic regional manager at the Transportation Safety Board for air investigations, said investigators conducted interviews with the two survivors, a co-pilot and nurse, Saturday. Both were taken to Saint John Regional Hospital, the nurse by ferry, the co-pilot by air.
Cunningham said an initial analysis does not suggest an obvious pre-crash mechanical failure.
“We know there wasn’t a pre-impact loss of a part of the plane,” stated Cunningham. “So far, it does not appear to be a mechanical issue, but we don’t stop looking at this stuff.”
A heavy rain late Sunday forced an early end to the investigator’s initial work.
“I expect they will be on site for probably two, or three more days, at least. There is quite a bit of information to collect, and a number of interviews to be done.”
Some parts of the plane will be removed for analysis by TSB labs in Ottawa.
A final report on the crash may take as long as a year to complete, however, Cunningham said efforts will be made to release an initial conclusion within 60 days.
For more, see Tuesday’s Courier.