Pilot Otabek Oblokulov, his wife and their three children, ages three, 11 and 15, along with a Toronto couple died when the plane crashed in a wooded area near Kingston on Wednesday, according to friends of the deceased, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
The U.S.-registered Piper PA-32 was flying from Toronto’s Buttonville Municipal Airport to Quebec City when it made contact with the Kingston flight service station. The plane then crashed some 3 miles northwest of the airport after 5 p.m., the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said, adding that the aircraft was destroyed and based on an examination of the wreckage its impact occurred at a steep angle.
“There was no post-impact fire. All seven people aboard were fatally injured. The emergency locator transmitter activated,” TSB said.
TSB investigators began examining the site Thursday to assess the cause of the crash.
“It’s difficult to say how long it will be before the wreckage is removed,” said TBS spokesman Chris Krepski. “We need to take the time necessary to document and examine the aircraft. That will give us some ideas of how the aircraft collided with terrain.”
TSB said it was surveying the cockpit and examining the cabin and seat arrangements of the Cherokee Six aircraft as well as conducting interviews with airport staff, witnesses and first responders.
Ken Webster, investigator-in-charge, said during a press conference Thursday that the type of plane can be configured with six or seven seats, but investigators have only found six seats so far at the crash site.
“At this stage of the investigation, it is too early to tell what the outcome will be with that,” he said. “But, I can tell you that we do look closely with this type of information and move forward from there.”
TSB said it was notified of the crash after 6: 30 p.m. and the wreckage was located by a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter crew with the use of data provided by the on-board emergency locator.
Webster said there were reports of deteriorating weather, but it is unclear what role it may have played in the crash.
He said investigators will be on scene for the next few days.
“It’s too early to say what the cause is or any contributing factors may have been in this accident,” he said.