The Transportation Safety Board has found pilot error was not likely a factor in a fatal small aircraft crash in Sechelt back in July of 2018.

The aircraft was destroyed, the pilot was killed and three passengers had minor injuries after the plane hit some trees over Chapman Creek.

The Board found, in the half hour before the flight departed, the windsocks at the airport were, at times, turning 360 degrees.

Local pilots told the Board turbulence and downdrafts are common over Chapman Creek and a pilot who had used the runway just an hour before the crash reported they were so severe that other aircraft should be warned.

Besides the wind, the TSB is reporting the aircraft was at or near maximum gross weight and that would have affected the take-off and climb performance of the plane.

The message to come out of the TSB investigation is that pilots should remain vigilant to changes in the factors that can affect the performance of their aircraft.