Wednesday, August 17, 2022
ADVT 
National

Fatal flight was too heavy, Toronto-bound: Witness

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 12 May, 2022 12:36 PM
  • Fatal flight was too heavy, Toronto-bound: Witness

VANCOUVER - A woman who knew the pilot of a fatal flight that killed two men wanted in separate murder plots says he told her he was heading for Toronto and was concerned about the plane's weight.

The woman, who asked not to be identified because she was afraid for her safety, said she spoke with pilot Abhinav Handa at the Boundary Bay Airport in Delta, B.C., before his plane took off on the cross-country trip in late April.

Handa told her he was carrying three passengers and had been planning the journey for at least a week, she said, although he only confirmed the date of the flight the day before departure.

The pilot expressed concern the plane was too heavy, but the woman said she didn't know if any luggage or cargo was removed.

"They were a little overloaded and they were trying to reduce their weight," the woman told The Canadian Press.

The woman did not see the three passengers and she said she and Handa also talked about weather conditions.

Police have said Handa, Hankun Hong, Gene Lahrkamp and Duncan Bailey died in the crash near Sioux Lookout, Ont.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which is British Columbia's anti-gang unit, has identified Lahrkamp as one of two men wanted in Thailand for murdering another man with links to B.C. gangs.

A man with the same name and age as Bailey was wanted by police for breaching bail conditions related to a separate murder plot in B.C.

The Piper Cherokee that crashed was travelling between Dryden, Ont., and Marathon, Ont., however the aircraft was registered in B.C. The woman, who had some knowledge of aviation, said a plane that small would have made several fuel stops en route to Toronto.

She could not confirm exactly which day she saw Handa. Another man at the airport said he did not want to be interviewed but he said he also saw Handa on the same day as the woman, although he could not confirm the date either.

Nav Canada, which operates flight information centres across the country, referred questions about the flight's itinerary to the Transportation Safety Board.

The board referred questions to the Boundary Bay Airport, which said it could not release the information.

The safety board, which is investigating the crash, has said a cause has not yet been determined. It said Thursday it will share an update "shortly."

Online flight tracking site FlightAware shows a gap in flight records for the plane between British Columbia and Alberta.

The site shows the plane arrived at the Boundary Bay Airport at 7:44 p.m. on April 23. The next entry shows the plane flew between Claresholm, Alta., and Shaunavon, Sask., on April 28 before continuing east. The final entry tracks its path from Dryden, Ont., to the crash site near Sioux Lookout, Ont., on April 29.

Hong and Handa do not appear in criminal records, however the federal aviation regulator said Handa was not certified to offer charter flights.

Transport Canada says neither Handa nor a company to which he was linked, called A&T Flights, held a valid Air Operator Certificate.

The certificate is one of several requirements for commercial pilots offering charters, tours and other services to paying customers, the agency said.

A public aircraft registry also lists the plane that crashed as being registered for private, rather than commercial use.

"Abhinav" is listed as the contact for A&T Flights Inc., on the company's Instagram page.

Hong is tagged in a video on A&T Flights page, advertising its services.

"Pilots having fun renting plane and flying all over beautiful British Columbia," the post on April 8 says.

Accounts for both Handa and Hong follow the A&T Flights Instagram page.

MORE National ARTICLES

Richmond RCMP needs the public’s help in locating 64 year-old Nedunchellian Vasse Pushparaj

Richmond RCMP needs the public’s help in locating 64 year-old Nedunchellian Vasse Pushparaj

He was last seen walking away from Richmond General Hospital, in the 7000 block of Westminster Highway, at approximately 7:45 p.m. on May 9th. Pushparj was reportedly very intoxicated when last seen, and family members are growing concerned for his well-being.

Richmond RCMP needs the public’s help in locating 64 year-old Nedunchellian Vasse Pushparaj

Feds invite businesses to donate to Ukrainians

Feds invite businesses to donate to Ukrainians

For now, the portal is designed to accept large-scale goods and services like housing, gift cards for high-priority items, transportation and jobs. Loblaws, Canadian Tire, Metro and Couche-Tard have already donated the equivalent of more than $400,000.

Feds invite businesses to donate to Ukrainians

Canada charters flights for Ukrainians fleeing war

Canada charters flights for Ukrainians fleeing war

Three Canadian charter flights to bring Ukrainians fleeing Russia's invasion will depart Poland in the coming weeks. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the flights will be available to some of the more than 90,000 Ukrainians approved for emergency travel to Canada.

Canada charters flights for Ukrainians fleeing war

Vancouver Police investigate teenagers swarming and assaulting peers in bullying rituals

Vancouver Police investigate teenagers swarming and assaulting peers in bullying rituals

VPD investigations include several swarmings, robberies, and reports of violent rituals meant to demean and humiliate peers. Since spring break, VPD officers have also encountered a concerning number of youth with imitation guns, bear spray, brass knuckles, and machetes near schools and in the community.

 

 

Vancouver Police investigate teenagers swarming and assaulting peers in bullying rituals

Automakers want better plan for EV chargers

Automakers want better plan for EV chargers

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association, which represents Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, is issuing a list of recommendations to Ottawa today warning that EV adoption isn't going to happen if Canadians don't have confidence in the network of charging stations available.

Automakers want better plan for EV chargers

CATSA working on airport security delays: Minister

CATSA working on airport security delays: Minister

Multiple airports are reporting extremely long lines at airport security and border screening checkpoints while passengers say they are being forced to wait for hours — and sometimes missing their flights.

 

 

CATSA working on airport security delays: Minister