Pilot of fatal plane crash was licensed, experienced
Published Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:20AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 27, 2012 2:28PM EDT
The 20-year-old pilot of a fatal plane crash that killed everyone on board was a licensed pilot who had dreams of fighting forest fires.
Toronto-resident Marko Misic was piloting the Cessna 172 on Friday when it crashed near Moorefield, Ont., about 150 kilometres northwest of Toronto.
Provincial police identified Misic and the three other young victims of the crash on Sunday. All were from the Greater Toronto area and all were Bombardier interns.
Passengers Mohammed Shahnawaz Zia, 23, Wasay Rizwan, 27 and Victoria Margaret Luk, 19, all died after the small plane crashed in a cornfield.
Tony Misic told CTV Toronto that his brother always loved airplanes.
“Anything with airplanes he would do. He would study. At 13 he was telling me what plane was flying up in the sky,” Tony Misic said.
“All the models… he knew everything.”
Tony said his whole family is still struggling to accept the young boy’s death.
“He's like half me. I can't really imagine living without him right now. It's going to hit me in a while I already know that,” he said.
Marko joined the air cadets at the age of 12 and by 16 had received his first flying licence. By the age of 19, he got his commercial licence.
The young pilot had even won an award from WestJet for his flight training.
In a thank you letter he sent to the company, Marko said he’d like to become a Canadair pilot and fight forest fires.
“The idea is to make a difference to the nature and people of this planet that we live on,” wrote Marko.
The young pilot’s friends said Marko impressed them with all of his accomplishments.
“He always seemed very determined and very courageous and brave,” said friend Alex Rozanec. “And it just seemed like he would stop at absolutely nothing to get what he wanted.”
Ontario Provincial Police said the plane was rented from Waterloo/Wellington Flight Centre which operates out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau, Ont.
Wellington County OPP said the plane left the airport at 6:10 p.m. Friday, intending to travel to Toronto and Niagara Falls before returning to Breslau.
Witnesses reported seeing a small plane drifting back and forth and spinning in circles before falling out of the night sky and crashing into a cornfield.
Onlooker Llori Nicholls and her husband were walking their dog when they noticed the Cessna 172 moving erratically.
“At first we thought, maybe it was practising some tricks, but then we realized that it looked to be in distress,” she told CTV Kitchener on Saturday.
Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are still trying to determine what caused the fatal crash, exploring whether the plane suffered any kind of mechanical failure.
Before the crash, Nicholls said it looked as if the pilot was able to restart the plane’s engine.
By then, it was too late. The single-engine plane plunged into the field.
Prepared to help, Nicholls said she and her husband grabbed a first-aid kit and a sleeping bag from their home and went looking for the aircraft.
The couple also went to a neighbour’s house to call 911.
Dozens of neighbours joined the search, many of whom heard the crash.
“It was a real community effort trying to find the plane,” Nicholls said.
Nearby farmers worked with emergency personnel. Together they conducted a grid search through the rows of corn. Some searchers used tractors and four-by-fours.
About two hours later, the wreckage was located.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Natalie Johnson, CTV Kitchener’s Max Wark and files from The Canadian Press