The father of a woman who crashed near Springbank Airport on Friday is optimistic about her recovery, but the reasons for this are still a mystery.
Jamie Gallagher revealed that his 22-year-old daughter Megan was trained to fly a newly refurbished 1981 Mooney M20K aircraft.
“As far as I understand, they left the airport in Springbank, and the pilot who instructed her took her to his airfield, which is located south of the Springbank airport, because there were much better conditions,” Jamie told Olx Praca.
“They flew for over an hour with nothing, and then returned to Springbank airport when it happened.”
Man killed in plane crash near Springbank airport
Megan was a certified pilot, one of the few female harvesters in Canada, and worked as a flight instructor at Fort St. John, British Columbia after years of novice pilot training in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Jamie said she would do her best to help her students and occasionally surprised him with a visit when she was in the area instructing a new pilot.
“She always thought of other people before herself.”
Friday’s flight was to introduce Meghan to the aircraft’s controls, controls that allow a pilot to fly without the use of visual aids, also known as instrument flight rules (IFR).
“She needed to be taught how to fly because this plane was her student’s plane, but it couldn’t fly on instruments,” Jamie told Olx Praca.
The owner of the newly certified aircraft, Megan’s apprentice, planned to fly it across Canada with his family. This student was not on the plane on Friday afternoon when Megan got to know the controls.
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Just after 3:15 p.m., the plane crashed on the north side of Highway 1 west of Olx Praca, near the Springbank airport runway.
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Megan was taken to the hospital in a life-threatening condition. A 45-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Sunday, Aircraft sales Flightsimple identified Michael Wilton as the person involved in the accident. Wilton was president of Flightsimple.
A website statement called Wilton “one of a kind and irreplaceable”.
“He was a bigger than life hero to his twin boys Tom and Will. He was loved for his courage, generosity and sense of humor,” the statement said.
The Transportation Safety Board conducted an on-site investigation over the weekend, which is ongoing into the wreckage.
Jamie said Meghan had spinal injuries and facial injuries that would require plastic surgery, but she avoided eye surgery.
“She doesn’t give up,” said her father. “She is a strong woman. She won’t give up.”
Megan began her flying career shortly after graduating from high school and even flew with her family to visit Jamie’s mother at The Pas, Man.
According to Jamie, the return flight was shrouded in smoke from wildfires, and although her passengers were visibly alarmed, Meghan calmly continued.
“She was completely confident. She wasn’t afraid. She didn’t care. She just laughed at them and continued flying.”
Having been a father to a pilot for nearly six years, Jamie was familiar with the risks his daughter took in her profession. And the fact that she survived the plane crash was a surprise to him.
“It is a rarity. Pilots don’t get into crashes and don’t survive, and when they do, they take to the air again,” he said.
Jamie also acknowledged that Meghan’s road to recovery is likely to be a long one.
“I’m sure we’ll have a lot of hard times, but we’ll be fine. We are a strong family. We have received a lot of support from our family and the aviation community.”
“All we can do is hope the best happens.”
BUT crowdfunding page was created to help Meghan with any medical and recovery bills.
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