A Piper Arrow crashed on the grounds of Brantford airport (CYFD) in Ontario earlier this week with the loss of COPA member Ronald Chamberlain and his wife Mildred, both from Brampton, Ontario.

Witnesses reported hearing a crash at around 01:20 but the remains of the PA-28R-200 were not found until around 08:00 after employees arrived for work at the airport in the morning, a delay of well over 6 hours. Snow was already covering the wreckage when it was discovered.

It has not yet been revealed whether the aircraft was equipped with an ELT, whether it was a 121.5 or 406 MHz model or whether or not it was triggered by the impact.

Nearby residents reported hearing the noise of an aircraft circling overhead before hearing “a sound like a bang”. According to TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski, “The aircraft was in a left bank with a high descent rate at the time of impact.” Preliminary reports have also revealed that the airport’s pilot-activated runway lights were on at the time of the crash.

The TSB continues to investigate.

In a statement issued by COPA’s national office in Ottawa today, COPA’s Director of Government Affairs and Communications Carter Mann said, “We are saddened at the loss of Mr. Ronald Chamberlain and his wife Mildred in Tuesday’s airplane accident at the Brantford airport, Ontario.

“Mr. Chamberlain was a long-time COPA member and a dedicated volunteer to our organization, helping to organize and deliver COPA’s ‘COPA for Kids’ aviation outreach program which provides small-aircraft flight experiences to youth across Canada.

“On behalf of Canada’s General Aviation community, COPA expresses its sincere condolences to the Chamberlains’ family and friends.”