APTN National News
YELLOWKNIFE-The ill-fated Air Tindi flight that crashed Tuesday killing two of the four people aboard narrowly missed smashing into a cliff, according to the band manager of the Chipewyan community that was the aircraft’s destination.
Lutsel K’e band manager Ray Griffith said the Cessna 208B crashed on a small but smooth patch of rock high up on a narrow peninsula that juts out into Great Slave Lake.
The aircraft was carrying four people aboard, including one pilot and three passengers. Two of the passengers were from the community.
Health officials said Wednesday that the two survivors had been flown to Edmonton for treatment and they were currently in stable condition.
This is the second deadly crash to hit the territory in the last two weeks.
In late September, a Twin Otter crashed into Yellowknife’s Old Town neighbourhood killing the pilot and co-pilot and injuring seven passengers.
Tuesday’s crash could have turned out much worse, said Griffith.
Griffith said the peninsula, about 45 kilometres east of the community, is no more than a “few hundred feet across” and is made up predominantly of rough terrain.
“They were coming in from the north side, narrowly missed the cliff and skimmed in over the top of the cliff,” said Griffith. “It is surrounded by miles and miles of water, it was a wheeled aircraft, if it had landed in the water there would have been no survivors…it’s an amazing crash site.”
Griffith said the crash had a major impact on people in the fly-in community, which sits about 200 kilometres east of Yellowknife.
“This has certainly shaken people, this is the closest one to home,” said Griffith. “To have two in a row…with local airlines, it really does make people think a little bit. But that is not going to stop people from flying because we have no choice.”