A pilot returning to a Southwestern Ontario airfield died after his small plane struck trees near the runway, an investigator said Monday.
Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) are working to piece together how Raymond Taylor’s single-engine aircraft went down near the Plattsville airfield over the weekend.
“We don’t have any witnesses . . . which makes things a little bit harder,” said TSB technical investigator Peter Machete.
Taylor, 67, took off from Plattsville, located northeast of Woodstock, on Saturday around 11 a.m. A receipt shows he landed at the Tillsonburg airport to refuel that afternoon, Machete said.
The Joint Rescue co-ordination centre was called in to search for Taylor’s plane after it wasn’t seen again.
“It was a short flight,” Machete said of the 40-kilometre trip from Tillsonburg to Plattsville.
Searchers found the wreckage, just east of the airstrip on Township Road 12 in Blandford Blenheim Township, Sunday about 6:20 a.m.
“There’s a tree line just before the threshold of the runway,” Machete said of where the plane was discovered.
Police, paramedics and firefighters attended the crash scene, where Taylor was pronounced dead. There were no passengers in the aircraft.
Machete estimates the crash happened Saturday between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The OPP and coroner are assisting the TSB, an independent agency that probes marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation accidents.
Investigators will look at everything from radar records and Taylor’s communications to mechanical issues and for possible leads, Machete said.
“The weather doesn’t seem to be a question but we’ll look into it as well,” he added.
Taylor was flying a 1948 Monocoupe, a two-seat light aircraft.
The Norwich Township resident had his pilot’s licence in his pocket at the time of the crash, Machete said.