Wing found in woods of Joggins that of Cessna

Raissa Tetanish
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Might date back to plane crash in 1976

JOGGINS - A file in the National Archives may have another addition to it after members of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada identified a plane wing found in the woods near Joggins.

In the hopes of bringing some closure to families that lost members to a plane crash in 1967, Const. Dal Hutchinson of the Cumberland District RCMP Parrsboro Office was made aware of the wing and sent some photos to the Transportation Safety Board.

Wing found in woods of Joggins that of Cessna

JOGGINS - A file in the National Archives may have another addition to it after members of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada identified a plane wing found in the woods near Joggins.

In the hopes of bringing some closure to families that lost members to a plane crash in 1967, Const. Dal Hutchinson of the Cumberland District RCMP Parrsboro Office was made aware of the wing and sent some photos to the Transportation Safety Board.

Unfortunately, the wing is not that of the single engine beechcraft plane owned by Bob Coldwell.

"We are very, very confident that this wing does not belong to a beechcraft plane, or musketeer," said Allan Chaulk, a technical regional senior investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. "This wing belongs to a Cessna 177."

Identifying the wing came easily to Chaulk and Doug McEwan, an engineering branch senior technical analyst, who identified many aspects to the Cessna that are different than a musketeer.

Bringing some designs with them, the pair was able to show Const. Hutchinson how different the two planes were where the wing attached to the rest of the plane. Looking at the designs and looking at the wing, it was evident the wing belonged to the Cessna.

"There's also no structure support on this aircraft, which points to only one type of Cessna," McEwan said, adding a visible port number was only used in the type of Cessna.

In the same place the port number was found, McEwan says the type of fuel for the aircraft was listed, which was only used in the United States.

Although the wing isn't from the 1967 plane crash, it's quite possible the wing is from a plane crash that occurred in the area in 1976.

"We can't categorically say it right now, but it looks like it's the wing to that crash," said Chaulk.

Looking at the information they had, Chaulk and McEwan said a man stole a Cessna 177 from Norfolk, Massachusetts in 1976, which he then flew over Canada. While flying the plane, the man stripped out of his clothes and jumped to his death on July 6.

His body had been recovered, and the rest of the wreckage was found approximately five nautical miles away.

"This is a far ways for a piece to go, but when it's an in-flight break-up, which it appears this was, all the lighter pieces fall first because they have less momentum," said Chaulk.

Because the crash Chaulk and McEwan think the wing may be from occurred 32 years ago, the file would have been moved to the National Archives for storage.

"We'll take the wing back to Dartmouth with us and try to compare it with the paint scheme in the file," said McEwan.

But because the file is with National Archives, it may take a while for the wing to be identified 100 per cent, if at all.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com





- ADN 10/08/08



Organizations: Cessna, National Archives, Transportation Safety Board of Canada Cumberland District RCMP Parrsboro Office

Geographic location: Joggins, United States, Norfolk, Massachusetts Canada Dartmouth

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