2019 Gabriola Island crash

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on December 11 2019. This is a backup of Wikipedia:2019_Gabriola_Island_crash. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/2019_Gabriola_Island_crash, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/2019_Gabriola_Island_crash. Purge

Template:Infobox aircraft occurrence On the evening of December 10, 2019 a small airplane on instrument approach to Runway 16 of Nanaimo Airport (YCD),[1][2][3] with three people on-board,[4][5] crashed into Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, in dense fog.[6][7][8][9] After experiencing a "system/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant],"[5] the plane crashed into the northwest corner of the island between Decourcy Drive and the shoreline.[1][10] According to witnesses, a large explosion accompanied the crash and shook homes in the area.[6][7][11][12] In addition to the island's local fire department and two ambulances being dispatched,[13] an additional 6 ambulances - including advanced life support units[6] - were sent on the next available ferry from Nanaimo, and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria was activated.[11] The Canadian Coast Guard was also dispatched and arrived near the scene in a hovercraft,[10][12] along with two boats from the Nanaimo Port Authority.[10][14]

The Gabriola Royal Canadian Mounted Police assumed control of the scene upon arrival.[7] Shortly after the crash occurred, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a statement that there were no survivors.[12][11][15] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was notified around 7pm PDT[6][7] and announced that three investigators will be on-scene December 11.[7][15][16] The BC Coroners Service is now in the "preliminary" stages of investigation.[7] In a joint statement by the RCMP and BC Coroners Service it was announced that the RCMP will maintain control of the site until TSB investigators arrive on scene.[17][18] They will not be releasing any more information at this time.[19][20] New information is expected to be released once the TSB has arrived and had time to review the wreckage.[2]

Information discovered by the Vancouver Sun indicated initially that it was potentially a twin-engine Piper Aerostar heading north from the United States.[11][21] The TSB confirmed the following morning that it was a "twin-engine propeller aircraft."[22][23] The following Saturday it was confirmed by TSB that the plane was a Piper PA-60-602P that crashed after experiencing a "system/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant]."[5] The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has since concluded the "field phase" of the investigation and has removed the wreckage. Further investigation is underway and will conclude with a formal report.[5]


While no official word has yet been released regarding the number of casualties, the Gabriola RCMP and the BC Coroners Service have stated that all aboard the plane were deceased.[15] Friends of the pilot have identified him as 61-year-old Alex Bahlsen, an ex-flight test examiner for Transport Canada, owner of a flight school, and grandson of Hermann Bahlsen.[24] Bahlsen volunteered with the registered charity, Pilots N Paws Canada Animal Rescue, to fly rescue animals across the country.[25]

It was confirmed on the following weekend that three people were on board the plane at the time of the crash: Alex Bahlsen and two unnamed passengers - a man and a woman.[5][26][27]

Aftermath and Investigation

A trauma support session for the residents affected in the wake of the crash was hosted two days later by the Regional District of Nanaimo.[28] The Transportation Safety Board investigation is ongoing and few details surrounding the crash have been announced.[22] The TSB has since moved to the analysis phase of its investigation, which will conclude in the release of a formal report on the accident.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Watts, Richard (11 December 2019). "Plane crashes at Gabriola Island; multiple fatalities". Times Colonist. https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/plane-crashes-at-gabriola-island-multiple-fatalities-1.24032363. Retrieved 11 December 2019. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 International, Radio Canada (2019-12-11). "Multiple fatalities confirmed in British Columbia plane crash" (in en-US). https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2019/12/11/multiple-fatalities-confirmed-in-british-columbia-plane-crash/. 
  3. Little, Simon (2019-12-11). "TSB say plane that crashed on Gabriola Island was flying from California to Nanaimo" (in en). https://globalnews.ca/news/6284855/gabriola-crash-victim-identified/. 
  4. Little, Simon (2019-12-12). "3 people were aboard plane that crashed on Gabriola Island, B.C., leaving no survivors" (in en). https://globalnews.ca/news/6289634/3-people-plane-crash-gabriola-island-bc/. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Holliday, Ian (2019-12-14). "Gabriola crash: TSB concludes work at site where plane went down" (in en). https://bc.ctvnews.ca/gabriola-crash-tsb-concludes-work-at-site-where-plane-went-down-1.4730520. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Plane crashes on Gabriola Island, explosions cause houses to shake" (in en-CA). 2019-12-11. https://www.cheknews.ca/explosions-rattle-homes-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-629125/. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 "'Almost shaking my house': Plane crashes on northern Gabriola Island, B.C., injuries unclear" (in en). https://globalnews.ca/news/6281346/gabriola-plane-crash/. 
  8. Weichel, Andrew (2019-12-10). "Emergency crews responding to plane crash on Gabriola Island" (in en). https://bc.ctvnews.ca/emergency-crews-responding-to-plane-crash-on-gabriola-island-1.4724857. 
  9. Ghoussoub, Michelle (Dec 10, 2019). "'My house shook, and I shook': Multiple fatalities confirmed in plane crash on Gabriola Island". CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gabriola-island-plane-crash-1.5391869. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Kilbourn, Derek (10 December 2019). "Plane crash on Decourcy Drive on Gabriola". Gabriola Sounder. http://www.soundernews.com/news/plane-crash-on-decourcy-drive-on-gabriola.html. Retrieved 11 December 2019. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Carrigg, David (2019-12-11). "Plane crashes on Gabriola Island: report of no survivors". Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/paramedics-arrive-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 News (2019-12-10). "UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP". https://www.abbynews.com/news/breaking-emergency-crews-responding-to-plane-crash-on-gabriola-island/. 
  13. Harnett, Cindy (2019-12-11). "Plane crashes at Gabriola Island". Times Colonist. https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/plane-crashes-at-gabriola-island-1.24032363. 
  14. News (2019-12-10). "UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP". https://www.nanaimobulletin.com/news/breaking-emergency-crews-responding-to-plane-crash-on-gabriola-island/. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Coyne, Todd (2019-12-10). "Multiple fatalities confirmed after plane crash on Gabriola Island" (in en). https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/multiple-fatalities-confirmed-after-plane-crash-on-gabriola-island-1.4724851. 
  16. Reuters (2019-12-11). "Multiple Fatalities After Small Plane Crashes in British Columbia" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/12/11/world/americas/11reuters-canada-plane-crash.html. 
  17. "Several people dead after plane crashes on Gabriola Island" (in en-CA). 2019-12-11. https://www.cheknews.ca/several-people-dead-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-629125/. 
  18. "Multiple Deaths Confirmed After Small Plane Crashes Near Vancouver Island" (in en). 2019-12-11. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/gabriola-island-plane-crash_ca_5df0e28fe4b06a50a2e7c4fc. 
  19. "Multiple fatalities after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast". National Post. 10 December 2019. https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/paramedics-arrive-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-off-b-c-coast. Retrieved 11 December 2019. 
  20. "Multiple fatalities after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast" (in en). 2019-12-11. https://www.cp24.com/news/multiple-fatalities-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-off-b-c-coast-1.4725061. 
  21. "Paramedics arrive after plane crashes on Gabriola Island off B.C. coast | The Star" (in en). https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/12/10/paramedics-arrive-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-off-bc-coast.html. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Holliday, Kristen (2019-12-11). "Witness says explosion from small plane crash on Gabriola Island was 'immense'". https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-tsb-investigators-to-arrive-on-scene-of-deadly-plane-crash-on-gabriola/. 
  23. Canada, P. M. N. (2019-12-11). "Witness describes explosion from B.C. plane crash, multiple fatalities confirmed | National Post" (in en-CA). https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/multiple-fatalities-after-plane-crashes-on-gabriola-island-off-b-c-coast. 
  24. Brend, Yvette (2019-12-11). "'An amazing pilot and flight instructor': Friends remember aviator who died in Gabriola Island crash". CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gabriola-plane-crash-fatal-pilot-alex-bahlsen-1.5392599. 
  25. "'Worth his weight in gold': Pilot killed in Gabriola crash remembered for animal rescue work" (in en). https://globalnews.ca/news/6291197/pilot-gabriola-island-crash-animal-rescue-work/. 
  26. "Cowichan Valley couple identified as final 2 victims of Gabriola crash" (in en). https://globalnews.ca/news/6305223/cowichan-valley-couple-identified-gabriola-crash/. 
  27. "'Absolutely devastated': Couple killed in Gabriola Island plane crash identified" (in en). 2019-12-16. https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/absolutely-devastated-couple-killed-in-gabriola-island-plane-crash-identified-1.4732804. 
  28. "Support session planned for Gabriola Island residents in wake of plane crash" (in en). 2019-12-12. https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/support-session-planned-for-gabriola-island-residents-in-wake-of-plane-crash-1.4728208. 

Template:Aviation accidents and incidents in 2019