ALBERTA

Pilot error caused plane crash that killed brothers en route to Alberta wedding

10/30/2014 02:13 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST
BASHAW, Alta. - A fatality inquiry report says a plane crash in central Alberta that killed two brothers from B.C. on their way to a wedding was caused by pilot error.

Dean Sorken, 44, of Abbotsford and 39-year-old Lee Sorken of Vernon died when their small single-engine plane went down near Bashaw in June 2011.

An investigator with the Transportation Safety Board testified at the inquiry that nothing was mechanically wrong with the plane.

The inquiry heard that Dean Sorken was at the controls in cloudy weather, even though his licence only allowed him to fly when he could see the ground and horizon.

Judge James Hunter says Sorken probably became disoriented in the clouds and couldn't correct when the plane went into an uncontrolled dive.

He says the pilot knew of the bad weather before the trip but was probably in a rush to get to a family wedding in Killam, Alta.

"His ultimate reason and decision for attempting this flight will never be known, although the need or want to get home for the family wedding undoubtedly played a major role," Hunter wrote.

The judge made no recommendations.

The Transportation Safety Board has yet to release its final report into the crash.

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