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Plane stalled trying to turn, probe into 2011 crash finds

One of the School of Advanced Flight Training's Eurocopter EC120Bs near Penticton, B.C.

An investigation into the crash of a light plane east of Vancouver has revealed the aircraft likely stalled while attempting a turn and collided with a mountain, killing a student and a flying instructor.

The Transportation Safety Board released its report Wednesday into the July 2011 incident near Harrison Lake, B.C., in which the pair from the Pacific Flying Club was on a mountain training flight in a Cessna 152.

Spokesman Bill Yearwood says an aerodynamic stall occurred when the aircraft was turned at slow speed with a high wing angle, causing the wing to drop as the pilots lost control at an altitude from which they could not recover. He says pilots in Canada aren't required to meet any defined standards before they can fly in mountainous terrain, which presents numerous challenges.

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Since the crash, the flight school in Boundary Bay has created a syllabus for mountain flying, and training for all instructors, including defined procedures for canyon turns, minimum altitudes, mandatory routing and standard operating procedures.

The mountain flying program has also been changed to include ground instruction prior to flying, new routing and the use of flight training devices to enhance pilots' awareness of hazards.

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