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UPDATED: TSB amends its statement about a fatal plane crash at Thunder Bay airport (2 Photos)

The Transportation Safety Board says the pilot did not request permission to return to the airport

THUNDER BAY —  The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has revised a statement it made earlier Tuesday about the circumstances of a fatal plane crash at Thunder Bay Airport.

A TSB spokesperson initially told news media that the pilot of the aircraft had requested permission to return to the airport shortly after takeoff on Monday evening.

The twin-engine plane took off from runway 12, and just moments later crashed on runway 07 just after 9:00 p.m.

However the TSB's Chris Krepski says he has now learned that the communications between the pilot and the air traffic control tower were different from how they were described earlier.

Krepski said he had been working with preliminary information, but subsequently determined that the pilot in fact had not asked for permission to land before the aircraft went out of control and hit the tarmac.

The board has deployed a team of Winnipeg-based investigators to the crash site to determine what caused the accident, and "the exact sequence of events," he said.

The identity and hometown of the pilot have not been released as yet.

Krepski said the Rockwell Aero Commander 690B was owned by MAG Aerospace Canada.

The company's website states that it provides services such as aerial fire surveillance including detection and mapping, and "bird dog" aircraft to help direct waterbombing operations.

The plane that crashed was working under a contract with the Ontario government.

A spokesperson for the Aviation, Forest Fires and Emergency Services agency said it was being used as a bird dog for CL-415 waterbombers, and was en route to Dryden for routine maintenance after completing a day of flying.

AFFES and the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry also offered their condolences to everyone impacted by the devastating loss of a family member and friend.

MAG Aerospace has its operations headquarters in Dryden, as well as bases in Kenora and Sudbury, and administrative offices in Waterloo.

A company spokesperson could not be reached Tuesday for comment, although MAG Aerospace acknowledged the accident in a brief news release on its Twitter feed.

Krepski said the TSB team will examine the plane's maintenance records and interview any witnesses to the crash.

They will also look into the communications between the pilot and Air Traffic Control, and review weather conditions at the time.

He said if there are any aircraft components that need closer inspection, they will be taken to the TSB's engineering lab in Ottawa.

NOTE:  This story has been updated to include a revised statement from the Transportation Safety Board 

Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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