Garneau Targets Flight Recorders

A Citation carrying four people crashed near Kelowna last week.
A Citation carrying four people crashed near Kelowna last week.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has asked his senior staff to investigate making cockpit voice and flight data recorders mandatory in unspecified aircraft that are not now required to have them.

“I think that it’s a good time for us to look at the issue of whether or not we want to extend the use of data and voice recorders to aircraft that currently do not have to have them,” Garneau told reporters Tuesday.

The call came four days after a Cessna Citation carrying former Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and three others crashed vertically onto a mountainside in Winfield, B.C., about 10 km. northeast of the Kelowna Airport.

The 40-year-old Citation was not required to carry the devices and was in compliance with all maintenance and operational regulations.

Just how far Garneau wants to extend the mandatory equipage isn’t clear  but the aircraft was certified for single pilot operation and the cutoff for CVR and FDR equipage now is two-pilot operation and six passenger seats.

Meanwhile, all the Transportation Safety Board can say is that something caused pilot Jim Kruk to lose control and the aircraft most likely spiraled into the mountain. FlightAware lists its last radar track descent speed at 2,200 feet per minute.