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Banner Pilot Down Just North Of Toronto

Sole Occupant Of The Aircraft Fatally Injured

A banner-towing pilot was fatally injured Sunday when the aircraft he was flying went down and caught fire while dropping the banner after a two-hour flight.

The Vancouver Sun reports that the plane went down in a parking lot in Markham, Ontario about 25 miles north of Toronto. The name of the pilot has not been released, and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The staff at Buttonville Municipal Airport in Toronto, where the flight originated, issued a statement following the accident, which read in part:

"While not directly related to our business and airfield operation, the loss of anyone from our Buttonville community is something that affects us all. We were deeply saddened to learn of this unfortunate event and our thoughts and sympathy are with the pilot’s family, friends and the company he flew for.

"It is unfortunate that incidents with aircraft, just like cars, trucks, trains and marine craft can and do occur despite proper safety oversight and adherence. We have a good and credible record for safe aircraft operations at this airport. We are committed to maintaining that standing at all costs and will always make safety to our airport and resident community the highest priority. And we continue to work co-operatively with the regulators and operators to ensure that safety always comes first.

"There has been an airport in active operation on this sight since the 1940s. We have been responsible for the operation of the facility since 1963. This airport is and always has been maintained to or in excess of all appropriate and applicable aerodrome regulations and oversight. The safety and operational excellence of our team and the products or services we provide is managed to the highest standard. We are monitored by all governing authorities to ensure that is always the case. The Transportation Safety Board is now in charge of reviewing this incident. Any comments directly related to this specific incident will come directly from them."

FMI: www.tc.gc.ca/eng/air-menu.htm

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