NEWS

Plane involved in St-Lazare crash identified as homebuilt SeaStar SP

05/15/2015 04:21 EDT | Updated 05/15/2016 05:59 EDT
The federal Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has confirmed a plane that crashed in St-Lazare, Que., Thursday, was a SeaStar SP — a homebuilt biplane able to touch down on either land or water.

At around 12:30 p.m. Thursday a plane coming in for a landing on runway 02 at St-Lazare Airport, about 50 kilometres west of Montreal, crashed into a field, missing the runway by about half a kilometre.

Two people died in the crash. Quebec provincial police have not yet released their identities.

The SeaStar SP was designed by Amphibian Aircraft Canada (ACC), a Vancouver-based manufacturer.  The aircraft was a homebuilt plane that could land on water or on the ground.

The TSB's main investigator, Denis Deroy, said Transport Canada issued a full permit for the biplane in 2011.

Deroy said that doesn't happen until after a TSB official inspects the plane and the pilot completes 25 hours of restricted flying.

DIY planes not the issue, says TSB

Amateur planes are generally safe, Deroy said, adding that there are no special requirements to either purchase or assemble kit planes such as the SeaStar.

"If you maintain it properly, if you fly it properly – according to flight manuals – then it's really safe. I don't see any problems with that," said Deroy.

The TSB and provincial police are conducting separate investigations into the crash.

TSB investigators have taken away the engine and flight panels, which Deroy said were "very badly burned," for further study.

Investigators also plan to look at records of maintenance work conducted on the plane.

MORE:cbcNews