The pilot at the controls of the Cessna 150 aircraft that crashed on Sunday after a mid-air collision has been identified by other pilots who knew him as Gerhard Herget.
Herget, who was well known by those at the Carp Airport, had purchased the Cessna 150 in September, according to Vincent Charron, a retired commercial airline pilot.
“He happened to just buy one of my friend’s airplanes less than two months ago. He bought the plane from a gentleman in Maniwaki,” said Charron, adding that the plane that crashed Sunday was the same plane Herget had recently purchased. “I didn’t know him personally, but I know others that do. He was a good pilot.”
Charron said he doesn’t believe there is any reason to believe the plane was mechanically unsound.
Herget, who lived in Kanata, was in his 80s. He was a seasoned pilot who owned at least four Cessnas throughout his life, according to historical aircraft registrations with Transport Canada.
The plane that crashed on Sunday was red and white with tail markings C-FGMZ.
Hours after her father’s death, Herget’s daughter posted a comment on the Citizen’s website under an article about the accident.
“I just lost my father in that plane crash. I loved him very much,” wrote Carola Herget.
Repeated attempts to reach Herget’s family for comment on the incident have been unsuccessful.
Herget’s Cessna collided with the landing gear of another, larger, aircraft in the sky above the Carp airport on Sunday morning.
On Tuesday, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) confirmed that it had taken the wreckage of the Cessna back to its forensic lab near the Ottawa International Airport.
The federal transportation investigator held an update on the status of its investigation into the crash on Tuesday, saying that while things were moving slowly it was continuing to look into the cause of the mid-air collision.
Beverly Harvey, a senior investigator with the TSB, said the investigation faces issues due to the fact that neither of the planes involved had voice or flight data recorders. The recorders, which capture radio chatter and plane movements while the aircraft are flying, re only mandatory on commercial airplanes.
“All lines of inquiry must be examined from the perspective of each pilot,” said Harvey. “There are specific questions that must be analyzed to determine what happened.”
The TSB is looking into lighting levels, the brightness of the sun and whether the wings of either aircraft acted as a blind, affecting the pilots’ ability to see one another. Harvey said the TSB is also combing through Nav Canada tracking data of the two aircraft and forensic experts are examining the damage to the larger Piper Cheyenne n hopes of revealing more clues about the collision.
Harvey said the impact between the aircraft severed a wing from Herget’s Cessna, causing the plane to quickly fall from the sky. She also said that the landing gear, tail and rudder of the Piper Cheyenne was damaged. Despite the damage, the larger aircraft was able to land safely at the Ottawa International Airport.
The TSB said it is still early in this investigation and would not provide a timeline for when it believes it will be ready to release its findings. Harvey stressed that the TSB is a non-partisan and independent investigator and is not looking to lay blame in the incident.
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