Pilot injured in crash in Abbotsford now ‘stable’


The pilot of the 1930s-era biplane that crashed shortly after take off Saturday at Abbotsford International Airport is now in stable condition.

The pilot and with four adult passengers were taken to hospital by ground and air ambulance after the de Havilland Dragon Rapide crashed on the runway at 5:30 p.m. after the Abbotsford International Airshow ended for the day.

One person sustained serious injuries, while another was in critical condition. Three others sustained minor injuries.

On Sunday, three of the five people have been released from hospital, said Jadene Mah, spokeswoman for the air show.

“Two are stable,” she said. “The critical patient was the pilot. He was scheduled for surgery today. Everyone will be OK.”

The American pilot has been identified as John Sessions, founder of the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, Wash.

“John is a competent pilot,” the foundation’s Marty Vale told the Everett Herald.

According to the foundation’s website, Sessions flew Cessnas, bush planes, float planes and corporate jets before he was pulled into the world of vintage planes.

This is the 11th consecutive year the foundation has displayed aircraft at the air show. It also offered rides to members or attendees. Mah said the plane did not perform at the air how, but was on display.

The crash investigation remains in the early stages. Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board arrived in Abbotsford Sunday. The TSB did not respond to media inquiries by deadline.

Despite the crash, the air show proceeded as scheduled on Sunday.

Attendance was stronger than in previous years, said Mah, bolstered by the return of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels for the first time in 15 years.

chchan@postmedia.com

twitter.com/cherylchan

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Source:: Vancouver Sun

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