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Three Indian trainee pilots survive plane crash

Three Indian students, who are undergoing pilot training in Vancouver, narrowly survived when their small Cessna plane crashed near the town of Golden.

world Updated: Sep 13, 2008 11:51 IST

Three Indian students, who are undergoing pilot training in Vancouver, narrowly survived when their small Cessna plane crashed near the town of Golden.

The three, who are on student visas in Canada and have six months of flying experience, were on Thursday flying a Cessna 175 owned by Sky Quest Aviation near Golden, about 700 km from Vancouver.

Reports quoting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) say the crash took place when their training plane stalled while trying to gain altitude and nose-dived into the ground.

But the three Indians survived as the light plane was cushioned by trees before it hit the ground.

Police said a 19-year-old student suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to Golden City Hospital.

They also added that the 18-year-old student who was piloting the plane suffered multiple cuts to the head. Another 20-year-old student escaped with minor injuries. The two are likely to be discharged soon.

Giving the cause of the crash, police said that immediately after taking off from Golden, the Cessna started flying low over a valley. But soon the pilot saw a mountain in front of him.

In trying to gain altitude, he made the plane rise. But in trying to rise, the plane lost its speed and stalled, crashing into the ground.

A newspaper in Calgary, which is about 260 km from Golden, said a helicopter pilot and two police radio technicians working in the area saw the crash and rushed to help. They found the three students waving for help. They were later picked up by a rescue team.

The students, who have not been named, reportedly live in the city of Surrey near Vancouver.

Canada is a favoured destination for Indian students seeking a career in aviation. Hundreds of pilots currently working with Indian airlines have been trained in aviation schools in Winnipeg and Langley.

Considering the boom in the Indian aviation sector, Winnipeg Aviation School, which is the first choice for Indian students, plans to start its training programme in India soon.