Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released the results of its investigation into the fatal crash that claimed well-known Rocky Mountain House aerobatic pilot Ken Fowler and his passenger, Hannelie Eder, on Sept. 26, 2020. Advocate file photo

Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released the results of its investigation into the fatal crash that claimed well-known Rocky Mountain House aerobatic pilot Ken Fowler and his passenger, Hannelie Eder, on Sept. 26, 2020. Advocate file photo

Central Alberta aerobatic pilot’s plane hit power lines before fatal crash

Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases report on September 2020 crash

Rocky Mountain House aerobatic pilot Ken Fowler had just flown low over a go-kart track where friends were waiting when he hit an unmarked power line as he pulled up, says a report from the Transportation Safety Board about last year’s fatal crash.

Fowler, 59, and a passenger Hannelei Eder, 42, left Rocky Mountain House at 1:17 p.m. Sept. 26 to meet with friends at a go-kart track next to the Hugget/Goodwood Field Aerodrome, which is about 45 km west of Leduc.

Arriving at the airfield about 20 minutes after taking off, Fowler made a couple of circuits around the unfamiliar field.

After his second circuit, Fowler’s plane descended to about 7.5 metres (25 feet) and flew over the go-kart track’s straightaway from north to south.

Based on videos recorded by observers on the ground, at the south end of the straightaway the aircraft initiated a climb and struck the upper two wires of an unmarked power line on the north side of Township Road 504 between 9.6 to 10.5 metres (32 and 35 feet) above ground level, says the safety board’s report released earlier this month.

The wires hit the nose of the plane and tore off the canopy.

Fowler’s Harmon Rocket II aerobtic plane pitched up steeply and climbed to about 210 metres (700 feet) rolled almost upside down as it headed west. As it continued flying, the wings levelled out but the plane hit the ground at about a 40-degree angle around 600 metres (2,000 feet) southwest of where it hit the power lines.

Both passengers were fatally injured and a fire consumed most of the plane.

Fowler was a well-known and highly skilled aerobatic pilot, who had performed shows all over North America and Central America in his long flying career. He and pilot Eric Hansen flew as Team Rocket Aerobatics, which Fowler started 16 years ago.

Fowler, was a father of three sons who had more than 6,000 hours of flying experience, and had managed Rocky Mountain House Airport for 22 years.

Eder, who had a son, was also a skilled pilot who had been part of the local flying community for many years, including serving as president of the Rocky Airshow Society.

Canadian Aviation Regulations require that power lines be marked if they are within six km of an aerodrome and the lines are higher than 90 metres above the ground. The highest points of the power lines in this case were only 10.6 metres and did not require marking.

hr width=”100%”>


News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
The Longhorn Saloon and Grill has opened its patio for outdoor diners. (Facebook photo)
Town of Ponoka launches new temporary seasonal patio program

The Town of Ponoka has launched a new Temporary Seasonal Patio Program… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Most Read