Crash Pilot Accused of Running Illegal Charters

The pilot of a Piper Cherokee 140 that crashed in Ontario in late April, killing all four onboard, had been reported to Transport Canada for allegedly operating an illegal charter service. Abhinav Handa died along with a friend and fellow pilot Hankun Hong and two alleged gangster hitmen when the aircraft went down on a night flight from Dryden, Ontario to Marathon, Ontario. Both passengers, Gene Lahrkamp and Duncan Bailey, were on the run from authorities on murder-related charges. A flight instructor at Handa’s home airport at Boundary Bay, B.C. blew the whistle on the young pilot in December.
Azam Azami said he saw an ad posted on Facebook Marketplace offering scenic flights and charters for prices ranging from $300 an hour to $2,000 a day. He recognized the aircraft and determined it wasn’t commercially registered so he contacted the company listed as the operator and posed as a potential client and confirmed his suspicions. He told the Vancouver Sun that he reported Handa to Transport Canada and TC confirmed to the Sun that the complaint had been made. Handa had a commercial licence but the company listed in the ads, A&T Aviation, did not have an operator’s certificate.