Crash Pilot Ignored ATC Calls

Two Cargair 152s collided in Montreal.

Investigators in Montreal say air traffic control tapes show one of the pilots involved in a midair collision last Friday didn’t respond to at least four attempts by ATC to raise him on the radio.

Two Cessna 152s owned by Cargair at St-Hubert Airport and being flown by Chinese students collided above a busy shopping centre. One of the students died in the crash of his plane into the parking lot while the other went through the roof and survived.

ATC apparently warned one of the pilots that he was not at his assigned altitude but the 23-year-old student did not respond. Both of the pilots had flown in the airspace and dealt with ATC repeatedly during their training and were described as being “proficient” in English.

TSB investigator Jean-Marc Ledoux told CTV there could be any number of reasons for the pilot to ignore the controller’s altitude directions.

“We have to consider a lot of things before coming to any conclusion,” he said. “Understanding why a person takes several times to reply or correctly reply to an instruction from an air traffic controller might depend on several things. Does he have problems with the radio? Was he very busy on the flight deck with something else?”