Pilot most critical

UPDATE: 3:55 p.m.

Five people are in hospital, including one in critical condition, after a 1930s era biplane crashed shortly after take off Saturday at the Abbotsford International Airport in British Columbia.

Jadene Mah, a spokesperson for the Abbotsford International Airshow, said there was a pilot and four passengers on board the deHavilland Dragon Rapide when it crashed on the runway at 5:30 p.m., almost an hour after the airshow ended.

Mah said all five were transported to hospital by both road and air — the pilot of the biplane was in critical but stable condition, one passenger had serious injuries, and the three other were being treated for minor injuries.

"The most critical was the pilot, he's actually stable and going into surgery today," said Mah in a phone interview Sunday.

Mah said everyone involved were lucky emergency resources were still on the airfield and able to respond immediately.

"They responded inside a one-minute window, which is a tremendous response time," added Mah.

Airshow officials had said in an earlier Facebook post that the aircraft, which Mah called a piece of "living flight history," was operated by a museum, offering member flights.

Mah said the Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, and that the Airshow will proceed as scheduled on Sunday because of the first responders and Abbotsford airport staff.

"We definitely want to let everyone know how grateful we are for the emergency responders and the professionalism of the airport personnel here," she said.

Inspectors from the Transportation Safety Board were not able to respond to inquiries at the time of filing.

The deHavilland Dragon Rapide was built in the 1930s by British aircraft manufacturer deHavilland and was designed for short-haul flights, carrying six to eight passengers at a time.

- with files from the Canadian Press

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

One of the people involved in a plane crash at the Abbotsford International Airshow is in critical condition while one other is in serious condition and the three others are in stable condition, staff said in a news release late Saturday evening.

The two more seriously-hurt occupants of the plane were airlifted to hospital while three others were transported by ambulance.

"As the Abbotsford International Airshow has just completed for the day, many emergency resources were already in place and able to respond immediately," staff said.

The Transportation Safety Board has now taken over the investigation into the crash.

The incident occurred on the runway just after 5:30 p.m., when a 1930’s era biplane crash shortly after take off.

Staff said the airshow will continue as scheduled on Sunday.

UPDATE: 7:00 p.m.

A vintage airplane crashed while performing at the Abbotsford Airshow Saturday afternoon. 

According to CTV Vancouver, five people have been taken to a hospital. 

Witness David Kent told CTV News the "older-style airplane" took off but began rocking from side to side. Its right wing then clipped the ground, sending the aircraft nose-first into the runway.

"It came to an instant stop and fortunately there were no flames," Kent said.

Two of the plane's occupants were airlifted from the scene. The other three were transported by ambulance. It's unclear what caused the crash.

Kent said the incident took place after Abbotsford Air Show events had wrapped up for the day.

—with files from CTV Vancouver

ORIGINAL: 6:45 p.m.

Castanet has received pictures and video of a plane crash at the Abbotsford  Air Show. 

According to witnesses, the de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide crashed at roughly 5:30 p.m.

At this point, there is no word on injuries or a cause of the crash. 

Castanet will have more details as they become available. 

According to Wikipedia, the de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide is a "1930s short-haul biplane airliner developed and produced by British aircraft company de Havilland. Capable of accommodating 6–8 passengers, it proved an economical and durable craft, despite its relatively primitive plywood construction."

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