Plane crash blamed on fuel shortage

A transportation safety board investigation has determined a fuel shortage caused a small plane to land short of the runway here Saturday afternoon.
“The pilot changed tanks while at normal circuit altitude. I guess he was running low and he thought he had a bit of fuel in other tank,” said Peter Hildebrand, regional manager of the transportation safety board in Winnipeg.
“It’s likely the engine drew in air and then stalled. So he really didn’t have time to switch back to the other tank and pump fuel,” he added, noting normal circuit altitude is 1,000 feet or less.
The single-engine Cessna made an emergency landing attempt around 12:30 p.m. but because of the loss of engine power, the plane landed short of the runway, skidded across a grassy area, and came to rest in a ditch.
The pilot and three passengers were taken to La Verendrye hospital, where they were treated and released.
The plane had been en route from Chicago, Ill. to Sioux Narrows and apparently was about to land here to clear Customs, said Hildebrand.
The names of the four occupants in the plane were not known.
“We’re not going much further with the investigation. It was a fuel management issue,” said Hildebrand.