As of Monday, the flight instructor injured in the crash of the Cessna 172 at Duncan Airport on Jan. 19 remains in hospital in Victoria with serious injuries.
The student in the plane, who suffered minor injuries in the accident that knocked out power to thousands of people in the area, was released by medical authorities soon after the incident, according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.
Bill Yearwood, a spokesman for the Transporation Safety Board, said a preliminary investigation at the crash site by TSB investigators indicated that there was no evidence of mechanical failure as a cause for the accident.
He said the investigation will now look to weather, human and other possible causes.
“The investigation could take from several months to over a year,” Yearwood said.
“It’s a long process because we want to be sure the facts in the final report are correct and people are given a chance to respond to the findings of the investigation. If we find during the investigation that there is an immediate threat, we would put out a safety notice.”
The small plane, owned by the Victoria Flying Club, had only the woman flight instructor and the male student on board at the time of the incident, which took place shortly after 1 p.m.
The plane was on a training exercise practising landings and take offs before it struck a number of trees and power lines and crashed upside down in a field near the airport.
The student flyer evacuated from the aircraft, but the instructor was trapped in the plane for up to two hours before she was successfully extracted by rescue crews and was flown by helicopter to Victoria General Hospital.
Members from the Duncan and North Cowichan fire department and the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment secured the accident scene while a number of helicopters, two medevacs and one Cormorant, circled overhead before one was used to take the woman to hospital.
The crash knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses in the Duncan and North Cowichan areas for approximately one half hour before work crews from BC Hydro restored the power.