TSB releases report into plane crash that killed young Quebec pilot in 2019

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The Transportation Safety Board says the death of a young Quebec pilot in September 2019 was likely due to spatial disorientation and is highlighting the danger of nighttime flights in poor weather.

Authorities said in a report released Tuesday the plane encountered weather that forced the pilot to fly using instruments alone instead of using visual references.

The board says it is likely the pilot, who had limited experience flying by instruments alone, lost control of the aircraft because of spatial disorientation after twice encountering weather that caused her to lose visual reference to the ground.

The TSB report says Transport Canada regulations about visual references at night lack clarity.

The downed Cessna 172 plane was found in Racine, Que., about 130 kilometres east of Montreal, having taken off from Mirabel, Que., in the Laurentians. The victim, Hind Barch, 22, died on impact.

Since the incident, the TSB noted that Cargair, a flight training school that owned the plane, revised its list of airports for dual and solo night flights and restricted solo night flights for its licensed and non-licensed pilots.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press