9 Dead In Georgian Airways Crash


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SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) - A single-engine plane carrying nine people crashed Saturday in snowy weather shortly after taking off from an island in Lake Erie, the U.S. Coast Guard said. There was no immediate word on whether anyone survived.

A helicopter found the wreckage about 7:30 p.m. Saturday about a mile west of Ontario's Pelee Island, Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Christopher Pasciuto said. The crew did not immediately see any signs of life, he said.

The helicopter was unable to land because of safety concerns, Pasciuto said. Ice has formed on Lake Erie, but the lake has not iced over.

The Georgian Airways plane was bound for Windsor, Ontario, across the border from Detroit, and crashed about 20 miles north of Sandusky.

Officials with the Canadian Coast Guard, the Ontario Provincial Police and Transport Canada - Canada's equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration - did not immediately return calls for comment.

The region has been locked in bitterly cold weather, with temperatures in the 20s Saturday in northern Ohio. The water temperature in Lake Erie, where waves were running 3 feet to 5 feet, was about 33 degrees.

Bob Wernecke, a pilot who flies between Ohio's resort islands just south of Pelee Island, said he made six flights during the day before deciding about 5 p.m. that the low cloud cover and freezing rain had made conditions unsafe.

``It's nasty,'' he said by phone from Put-In-Bay. ``It's freezing drizzle, kind of bad.''

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I'm guessing it was a Caravan.
I highly doubt that Georgian Airways was flying around Lake Erie. They mostly fly on the other side of Europe. What I think the artical meant was Georgian BAY Airways which is a small charter/flightseeing company located up there. Last I knew they flew the Beaver and a 180 on floats. So it sounds like it was the type of bird they fly. The sad part about this (besides the crash) is that even if anybody did survive the impact, the chance of survival in the water at this time of year is slightly below zero percent.

Wow, that sucks. Thats not too far from my neck o' the woods. I think I've seen some of their planes before. Sad to hear...

Edit: I think they may have some Caravans (if its who I'm thinking of). A Beaver or C-180 can't hold 9 people.
That isn't to far from home either for me. I'm sure the local media will be raving about this for days
It was reported a Caravan,there is an excelent winery in the island and this is the time of the year when ice wine is made,wonder if the pass. where employees
I flew that exact route a few months back in the summer. The airport is very close to my training airport. The distance from Pelee Island to Windsor is about 30nm or less, so it is a very short hop. The carrier is "Georgian Express" which is a Canadian carrier. They fly Caravans and B1900s.