Plane in Nashville crash that killed 5 has ties to Brampton and Milton


Published March 6, 2024 at 12:48 pm

C-FBWH, a plane hangared at the Brampton Flight Centre pictured here, crashed near Nashville, Tennessee on March 5, 2024. (Photo retrieved from FlightAware)

Investigators are trying to determine what led to a fatal plane crash in Nashville on Monday, killing five people including three children in an airplane based in Brampton.

The single-engine plane crashed alongside a highway west of downtown Nashville shortly after the pilot told air traffic controllers he could see the runway for an emergency landing, but he said he couldn’t reach it.

Authorities say the flight originated in Ontario and flight tracking website FlightAware shows it took off from the Milton area on Monday afternoon. has also learned the plane was based at the Brampton Flight Centre.

“We really don’t know what happened,” said Allan Paige, general manager of the Brampton Flying Club, adding that the plane was not registered to the flying club but was owned by a numbered company.

The Brampton-based plane’s tail number was C-FBW, and investigators have yet to release the names of the victims but have confirmed three of the deceased were children.

And while Paige said he does know the owner and frequent pilot of the Brampton-based aircraft, he declined to comment on their identity as it is not known who was piloting or onboard the plane when it went down.

The plane referred to in the radio recordings was a Piper PA-32R, made in 1978 and hangared in Brampton.

FlightAware says C-FBWH took off from the Milton area and landed at Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania, before making another stop in Mount Sterling in Kentucky and then taking off again headed to Nashville’s John C. Tune airport.

The pilot radioed air traffic controllers at around 7:40 p.m. reporting that his engine had shut down and that he had overflown the airport, just west of downtown, at 2,500 feet and had circled around in an attempt to land, according to a recording of their radio transmissions.

They cleared runway two at the airport, and urged him to glide the plane down. But the plane had already descended to 1,600 feet (488 metres) by then, he said.

“I’m too far away. I’m not going to make it,” he said.

That was the last they heard from the plane, which dropped off radar as it lost altitude.

“When it hit the ground, there was a 30 to 40 foot explosion of fire. And all of the traffic on the interstate stopped and kind of processed what they saw,” bystander Matthew Wiser told a reporter after witnessing the crash.

There were no injuries to drivers on the interstate, Nashville Fire Department spokesperson Kendra Loney said. Authorities said no vehicles or buildings on the ground were damaged.

Investigator Aaron McCarter of the NTSB confirmed the flight originated in Ontario and three of the passengers were children. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it has assigned a representative to the U.S.-led investigation.

It could take months to learn what caused the crash as a preliminary report is expected in 10 days, but the full rundown will take around nine months to complete.

McCarter said they packed up the wreckage for transport to a facility in Springfield, Tennessee, where the plane will be reassembled.

Investigators do not know why the pilot decided to circle the airport prior to the crash, McCarter said, mentioning that the plane’s approach was perpendicular to the interstate when it hit the ground.

– With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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