Two Ottawa men died Wednesday when the small plane they were flying in crashed near the Ottawa airport. William Barry Stratton and Jacques Domey were on the last leg of a return trip from Florida when the crash happened Wednesday. Investigators were on the scene with Police in Ottawa December 14, 2011.
Credits: Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency
William Barry Stratton and Jacques Domey were on the last leg of a return trip from Florida.
The men were part of a five-person partnership that owned the plane, a four-seat Cessna 177 Cardinal they had bought in April 2010.
The plane departed the Willamsburg International Airport in Pennsylvania shortly after 5 p.m. for the roughly two-hour flight. The plane went off the radar shortly before it was scheduled to land in Ottawa.
After the aircraft lost contact with the Ottawa International Airport at about 7 p.m., emergency crews scoured several kilometres looking for the plane.
Within an hour, a police officer located a wing of the plane near RCMP headquarters. Firefighters found the body of the plane in a field shortly after.
The only two people on board were dead.
"It (the plane) took out a bunch of hydro poles," said fire department spokesman Mark Messier. "When they did find the plane it was busted up pretty bad."
Several downed hydro lines created hazards for crews and power was shut down in the area, leaving more than 2,600 people in the dark.
The plane crashed in an area without many homes nearby, but several people heard of the crash and scrambled to get a better look before police blocked area roads.
Sarah Colterman and Waylon Desnoyers were among several friends who heard of the crash and hiked to a hill nearby to get a closer look.
"We saw the tail light of the plane in the middle of the field," Desnoyers said.
Colterman heard pieces of the plane had been found scattered in area backyards and nearby parking lots.
"I've never seen this many (emergency crews)," Colterman said. "There were four-wheelers going up and down the forest and the fields around here."
Police blocked several roadways surrounding the grassy field where the plane crashed, and emergency crews set up a command post nearby. Dozens of officers, firefighters and paramedics remained in the area well past 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Transportation Safety Board spokesman Chris Krespi said he had no information on whether the plane attempted or had reached the Ottawa International Airport's air traffic control.
Krespi said two investigators were on their way to the site late Wednesday.
The Transportation Safety Board and Ottawa police are conducting parallel investigations. Police, who are determining if any suspicious activity was involved, guarded the site overnight.
The wreckage remained at the site Thursday morning. The bodies were removed around 2 a.m., according to sources.