Lauren Sewell snaps one of the last photos taken of her and boyfriend Dallas Smith prior to the Aug. 13

Fathers of plane-crash victims to compare notes

Greg Sewell to address Transportation Safety Board report on 2012 air fatality during South Surrey news conference Thursday.

The father of a former South Surrey resident who was killed in a plane crash near Kelowna a year ago has called a news conference to speak to findings in a report on the tragedy released this week by the Transportation Safety Board.

Greg Sewell said he and the father of another victim from an unrelated crash will address media in an 11 a.m. event today (Thursday) at Hazelmere Country Club.

“We feel that there’s a tie-in between the two incidents, a correlation that we think is worth pointing out,” Sewell told Peace Arch News.

Sewell’s daughter, Lauren, died after the plane she and her boyfriend, Dallas Smith, were passengers in crashed into a wooded area on Aug. 13, 2012.

Smith, a 30-year-old White Rock native, was pronounced dead at the scene, and 24-year-old Sewell, who grew up in the White Rock area, died in hospital two days after the crash.

The TSB report says that the pilot and another passenger, who both survived the crash although critically injured, have no memory of the final moments of the flight, the return leg of a trip from Boundary Bay Airport to Penticton.

It names potential factors in the crash as a reduced rate of climb due to summer atmospheric conditions, fuel-flow problems, overloading and impaired visibility as a result of forest-fire smoke in the area.

The report also finds that while likely travelling at low-speed and “relatively” low altitude in an area of reduced visibility, the “aircraft was unable to climb rapidly enough to provide adequate terrain clearance.”

Wednesday, Sewell was not ready to discuss the report, but said there are “definitely things to learn from it.”

 

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