The pilot of a float plane that crashed on Addenbroke Island Friday has been identified in online posts. Pilot Al McBain is pictured in this Facebook photo shared by a friend.
FACEBOOK / PNG
The pilot of a float plane that crashed on Addenbroke Island Friday has been identified in online tributes.Pilot Al McBain has been flying with the Seair Seaplanes family for more than 15 years at the time of Friday’s crash, said company spokeswoman Kim Haakstad in an email.“We are awaiting information from authorities and not in the position to provide any additional information at this time,” she wrote. “This is out of compassion for the families and loved ones of those involved.”While authorities have not officially identified any of the crash victims, Facebook memorial posts about McBain began circulating Sunday, with one friend calling McBain “truly one of the nicest guys.”“I guess I’m at peace knowing he passed doing the thing he loved most,” wrote one friend. “Flying.”Another friend wrote that they had been dreaming about a cruise together later this year.“He worked hard and loved to fly. He talked about what he wanted to do in the future and the places he still wanted to visit,” the post read.The memorials came as a team of three Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived Sunday morning to the remote, uninhabited B.C. island, about 100 kilometres north of Port Hardy, to begin their probe into the crash that killed four of nine people on board.“We’re expecting to begin our work this morning,” said TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski in a call Sunday. “From what I understand, it’s a pretty remote site.”The Transportation Safety Board is an independent agency that investigates incidents to improve the safety of air, marine, rail and pipeline transportation.The Cessna 208 Caravan departed from Vancouver and was bound for a fishing lodge in Hakai Pass on Friday before crashing around 11 a.m. Inside, there was one pilot and eight passengers on board.Of the nine people, four have been confirmed dead. Two others in critical condition were airlifted to Vancouver while three others in serious but stable condition were taken to local hospitals.Weather data from the Hakai Institute showed intense rain between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Friday, around the time of the crash.The single-engine aircraft, with capacity for 14 people, was heading to Calvert Island, a popular recreational site that’s home to the Hakai Land and Sea fishing lodge and a Hakai Institute coastal research station. The charter flight was not bound for either destination.—with files from Roxanne Egan-Elliott, Times Colonist; Canadian Presssip@postmedia.comtwitter.com/stephanie_ip