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A small aircraft lies in a field next to the Trans-Canada Highway, within sight of the Springbank airport, after a fatal crash in Cochrane, west of Calgary on April 22, 2022.Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press

One person died and a second was critically injured when a plane crashed just outside the Springbank Airport near Calgary on Friday.

Stuart Brideaux of Calgary EMS said paramedics responded to a report that a light aircraft had crashed mid-afternoon north of Highway 1 near the airfield.

“The first-arriving ground crews unfortunately identified that one of the two adult occupants found in the aircraft was deceased, that being an adult male,” he said in a phone interview.

“Paramedic crews subsequently transported the other adult occupant found at the scene to Foothills Hospital in critical, life-threatening condition.”

RCMP said the dead man, who was the pilot, was 45 years old. The injured woman, who is 22, was the passenger. Their names were not released.

Police said traffic on Highway 1 did not appear to be affected, but drivers were being urged to use caution in the area.

Chris Krepski, a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, said the aircraft was a Mooney M2OK that was privately registered.

He said it was a flight from Springbank that crashed around 3:17 p.m. about half a nautical mile south of the airport.

Two investigators from Edmonton were to arrive at the scene Friday tonight.

In October 2017, a student pilot and instructor were killed when their small plane crashed moments after takeoff from the same airport.

An investigation by the Transportation Safety Board showed no signs of mechanical failure. The safety board said the aircraft had climbed no higher than 100 metres when, less than a minute into the flight, it started to lose speed and altitude.

In February of that year, two flight instructors from Mount Royal University in Calgary died when their small plane went down during a training exercise. They had taken off from Springbank and crashed in the Waiparous area about 60 kilometres northwest of the airport.

A safety board investigation into that crash could not determine exactly what happened.

The Springbank Airport, about 10 kilometres west of Calgary city limits, is commonly used by smaller airlines, private aviators and for flight training.

It is managed by the Calgary Airport Authority, which sent out a tweet about the crash late Friday afternoon.

“We are aware that a plane crashed north of (Highway) 1 in Rocky View County,” it said.

“Our condolences to those impacted by this loss. We will support the agencies leading the investigation into the cause.”

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