Icing behind plane crash

The Transportation Safety Board says ice on the wings and pilot decision-making contributed to the crash 18 months ago of a Beechcraft King Air at the airport in Abbotsford.

The pilot and five passengers were seriously injured, while four others received minor injuries when the plane crashed seconds after taking off for a trip to California on Feb. 23, 2018.

The board's report says the plane had been sitting in a warm hanger and was then exposed to heavy snow and below-freezing temperatures for 14 minutes, creating an ideal situation for icing to occur.

The report says the pilot wanted to take off because his family was on the flight and even though there were a number of indications that the plane shouldn't leave the ground, he decided to continue.

The pilot and a passenger in the crew seat weren't wearing the available shoulder harness and both sustained serious head injuries during impact.

The plane's owner, Island Express Air Inc., voluntarily suspended operations after the crash and Transport Canada suspended the company's operating certificates until it underwent a recertification.

The TSB says Island Express has since changed ownership, made personnel changes, modified its procedures and training programs, and introduced new operational equipment and processes to improve safety.

Transport Canada reinstated the operating certificate for Island Express in June 2018.

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