Aircraft 'equipment issue' was reported moments before Gabriola Island plane crash
The scene of a small plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Dec.11, 2019. A plane that one witness describes as crashing in a "huge explosion" that left multiple people dead in British Columbia has been identified as a twin-engine propeller aircraft. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paolo Gastaldello
VICTORIA -- A new report shines light into what may have caused a small twin-engine airplane to crash on Gabriola Island Tuesday, killing all on board.
A Transport Canada occurrence report released Friday lists "system/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant]" in its Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) report for the flight that crashed on the B.C. Gulf Island on Tuesday evening.
The report details how the private plane with three people aboard "reported an equipment issue and deviated from the approach prior to dropping off of radar," while trying to land at the Nanaimo airport shortly after 6 p.m.
The doomed Piper Aerostar craft, piloted by Alex Bahlsen, was flying from northern Californa to Nanaimo when it spiralled into the northern tip of Gabriola Island.
The airplane was built in 1982 and was a model number PA-60-602P, according to the report.
CADORS reports contain preliminary information that can be subject to change.
On Friday afternoon, the BC Coroners Service said the genders of the two other passengers had been determined. One passenger was a male and the other was a female.
The coroners service said it is still working to identify who the passengers were.