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Kelowna  

Plane was retrofitted

UPDATE: 3:15 p.m.

While the jet that crashed north of Kelowna was originally built to be flown by a crew of two, this specific plane had been retrofitted as a single-pilot jet.

Transport Canada tells Castanet it approved the modification to the 1974 Cessna 500 Citation I as a 'single-pilot operation' and issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to the company at that time.

Transport Canada registration details for plane C-GTNG confirm that the plane was manufactured in the U.S.A in 1974 and spent decades trading hands throughout North America before it was eventually imported into Canada in 2005.

The Citation was purchased by Norjet Inc. in 2009, registered by Transport Canada at that time as a 'private owner.'

Norjet Inc. is based in Calgary, Alta. Multiple calls for comment to Norjet have not been returned.


ORIGINAL: 5 a.m.

There was only one pilot on board the doomed business jet that crashed minutes after takeoff from Kelowna International Airport last week.

But should there have been two?

The plane involved in the Oct. 13 crash was a 1974 Cessna 500 Citation I – built to be flown by a two-person crew, according to specs. However, the planes can be retrofitted so only one pilot is needed.

It's likely the Transportation Safety Board investigation will examine whether the 1974 jet owned by Norjet Inc. had been retrofitted to accommodate a single pilot.

The TSB has said its investigation will focus in part on aircraft maintenance records.

Former Alberta premier Jim Prentice and fellow passengers Sheldon Reid and Ken Gellatly died at the scene. Pilot Jim Kruk was also killed in the crash.

The investigation is expected to take a year.



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