Skip to main content

A student and an instructor were killed when a small plane owned by a flying school west of Calgary crashed Thursday.

Jayme Hepfner, president of Springbank Air Training College, said it was with "great sadness" that he had to report about the crash.

"There were two occupants on board, a student and instructor, who did not survive. My deepest sympathies go out to the families involved and I want to ensure them that I will do my best to support the investigation," Hepfner said in a statement e-mailed to The Canadian Press.

He did not give any details about the men nor did he identify them.

Hepfner said staff and students are feeling "shock and grief" and he will try to ensure they get the support they need to get through the tragedy.

"There are many questions to be answered and I plan to take it step by step to try to provide peace to the families and the greater aviation community."

Jon Lee with the Transportation Safety Board said the plane had just taken off from the college – one of several flying schools that operate out of the Springbank airport.

The aircraft went down in a field about a kilometre from the airport about 10 a.m.

Stuart Brideaux, a spokesman for Calgary EMS, said two male adults were found dead.

Brideaux said there were multiple calls from witnesses saying they saw a plane flying low and then going down.

RCMP, Transport Canada and the safety board were all investigating.

Brideaux said fire crews from Springbank, Elbow Valley and Cochrane had to be called to control a fire that started after the crash.

Paramedics were able to get to the scene once the fire was put out.

"When paramedics were able to get close enough to the actual site, they were able to determine two adults were deceased at the location. No interventions were undertaken," Brideaux said.

In February, two flight instructors at Calgary's Mount Royal University's aviation program, which operates out of the Springbank airport, died when the university's aircraft went down about 30 minutes into an instructional flight on Feb. 13.

Premiers weighed in on marijuana legalization outside of a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa Tuesday. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says Ottawa needs to defray the costs provinces will take on once pot is legal.

The Canadian Press