'Excellent pilot’ killed in plane crash west of Ottawa
Published Monday, October 8, 2012 1:44PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 8, 2012 8:51PM EDT
An experienced pilot has died after a small plane crashed west of Ottawa near the town of Calabogie Monday afternoon.
The plane’s owner, Lorenzo Girones, identified the pilot as Bob Reany of Port Elgin, Ont., who was well-known in the flight community.
Reany was training Girones to fly the Socata TBM700 aircraft.
“Wonderful man…he was an excellent pilot,” Girones, a Timmins, Ont. lawyer, told CTV Northern Ontario’s Kari Vierimaa.
“It’s just a tragedy beyond comprehension.”
The aircraft went down shortly after the noon hour in a wooded area between the towns of Calabogie and Griffith, about a two-hour drive west of Ottawa. CTV Ottawa reported that the plane was destroyed on impact.
Girones said he and Reany flew from Goderich, Ont. to Carp earlier Monday and Raeny decided to fly back and spend Thanksgiving with his family. Reany was supposed to return and pick up Girones for his last day of training Tuesday.
Girones said his instructor was an practiced pilot who had logged 26,000 hours of flight time.
The Socata was a “brand new” aircraft, he said, adding that he doesn’t understand what went wrong.
“He spiralled down from 27,000 feet.”
Officers with the OPP’s Renfrew detachment had to approach the crash site on ATVs. The force’s Emergency Response Team searched the wreckage with local officers, as well as officials from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.
Jacqueline Allan was with her daughter in the area when the plane went down.
Allan said she heard “a high-pitched whine, kind of like motocross vehicles.”
“It was waxing and waning and then we heard a loud bang,” Allan told CTV Ottawa. “But it was muted, and my daughter thought maybe it was a gunshot.”
Allan said she only learned that a plane had crashed when the owner of a local trailer park told her he had heard reports of a plane going down in the area.
Girones said he’s thankful that he wasn’t aboard the plane when the crash occurred, “but I’m sad that it was (Reany).”
“I’m very concerned about his family and about his wife, with whom he was married for 46 years,” Girones said.
“I’m just sad and my heart goes out to her and his family.”