Mount Royal University has voluntarily grounded the school’s two Tecnam P2006T aircraft after its third was destroyed in a plane crash that claimed the lives of aviation instructors Jeff Bird and Reyn Johnson two-and-a-half weeks ago.
Calling it a “phased approach” to resuming its flight training program, the school said the decision was made without instruction from Transport Canada or the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), which continues to investigate the crash.
“Our curriculum is quite robust, but we feel, under the circumstances, we need to explore all options in our students’ best interest,” aviation program chair Leon Cygman said in a statement Thursday.
“We are acting with caution until all the reviews are complete, including our own internal review and the findings of the TSB investigation.”
MRU initially had eight planes – three twin-engine Tecnam P2006Ts and five single-engine Cessna 172s. The plane that crashed was one of the three twin-engine planes.
President David Docherty previously said the Tecnam twin-engine plane was a “relatively recent” addition to the fleet.
Watch below: Mount Royal University’s School of Aviation unveiled a new fleet on April 12, 2012, including four single-engine Cessna C-172 Skyhawks and three Tecnam P2006Ts.
Students will keep training on the remaining five single-engine Cessna 172 aircraft in MRU’s fleet and the school will lease one or two of its twin-engine planes.
“In the meantime, Mount Royal is exploring options for students to get required twin-engine training through other reputable flying schools,” said the statement from the university.
The school is also posting aviation instructor jobs in the coming days. Training flights resumed with instructors last week; students returned to the cockpit this week.
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