Pelee Island plane crash that killed 10 people, remembered a decade later
It was a dreary day 10 years ago, when a Cessna plane carrying 10 people crashed, shortly after taking off from Pelee Island.
On Jan. 17, 2004 Georgian Express Flight 126 crashed into the icy waters of Lake Erie. The pilot, his fiancée and eight pheasant hunters from the areas of Richmond Hill, Chatham, Kingsville, and Windsor were killed.
What followed was a 26 month investigation into what caused the plane to crash. The Transportation and Safety Board determined that pilot fatigue led to several poor decisions.
The initial investigation concluded that the Cessna was overweight. Witnesses reported that the wings of the plane were covered in ice. The actual weight of the passengers was determined to exceed the standardized estimates used by the pilot by 1,200 lbs.
Investigators determined the plane’s speed was too low to compensate for the additional weight.
The safety board says the crash was triggered when the pilot retracted additional wing flaps used for takeoff.