Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for December 20, 2013

Father, son had been ‘true ambassadors’ for Yukon

A steep turn, an overweight plane and high winds contributed to the June crash in Saskatchewan which killed long-time Yukoners Chuck and Shane Buchanan.

By Stephanie Waddell on December 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm

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Photo by Stephanie Waddell

Chuck Buchanan and Shane Buchanan

A steep turn, an overweight plane and high winds contributed to the June crash in Saskatchewan which killed long-time Yukoners Chuck and Shane Buchanan.

The father/son duo had taken off from a waterway next to the Cameron McIntosh Airport in North Battleford.

They were in the air for just a short time when the aircraft crashed and burst into flames.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said federal privacy legislation prevents it from indicating who was piloting the aircraft.

Peter Hildebrand, the board’s manager of regional operations, said Thursday from Winnipeg investigators found the plane had taken a steep left turn after having taken off.

It was about 45 metres (150 feet) in the air when it started crashing.

“There wasn’t a lot of altitude,” Hildebrand said.

The plane was overweight by 23 kg (50 lbs.), investigators discovered.

The allowable weight for the float plane was 1,935 lbs. It was carrying 1,985 lbs.

While Hildebrand said the plane wasn’t much over its allowable weight, he pointed out that the more weight is being carried, the more strain it puts on the aircraft.

Following the Buchanans’ deaths, many Yukoners recalled the long history the family had in the territory.

“They were a family that were true ambassadors for the Yukon,” said Teena Dickson, a long-time friend.

Shane, who was 40, had grown up around Carcross, and had guided throughout the Yukon, Northwest Territories and northern B.C.

He was the co-owner and operator of Moon Lake Outfitters Ltd. in northern B.C., west of Atlin Lake.

Chuck founded the Yukon Museum of Natural History in Carcross, or the Caribou Crossing Trading Post.

Current owner Greg McHale credited Chuck and his wife, Marilyn, with creating the tourism market in the region.

“Only people like Chuck and Marilyn and Shane and (Shane’s wife) Hanna could have the foresight to see what the potential was here and look at what they created,” McHale said.

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