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Victims Named In Durham Plane Crash

Video credit: live audio courtesy of LiveATC.net.

Three people died in a small-plane crash north of Pickering on Thursday night.

A Seneca College flight instructor and two students on a training exercise were headed back to Buttonville Airport around 7pm, when their four-seat, single-engine Beechcraft F-33A Bonanza went down in a farmer’s field. It happened north of Side Line 24 and Whitevale Road.

Instructor Azizullah Yoosufani, 26, and third-year students Cynthia Hoi-Mei Tsang, 20, and Lloyd Myles Cripps, 20, were all pronounced dead at the scene.

“We rushed to the airport and they said, ‘No survivors.’” Yoosufani’s father, Nasrullah, said on Friday.  “We still don’t believe it, but we have to.”

Yoosufani loved flying, following in his pilot father’s footsteps. He was to be married next month and his younger brother was writing a wedding speech when the family got the news.

“I think about it and try to doze off and come back,” said Farmanullah. “He was pretty much my role model.”

Tsang was on the honours list and was known for her enthusiasm. Cripps, according to those close to him, was passionate about flying.

“They’re all very pleasant,” said Seneca flight instructor Brian Carlick. “They always had a smile – all three of them. It’s not right.”

A private memorial service will be held next week for the Seneca aviation community and the victims’ families.

“Senecans are dealing with a tremendous loss. Our hearts are with the families and we are coming together to support the students, faculty and staff who have lost friends and colleagues,” said Seneca College President David Agnew.

“We want to thank our many colleagues in the college community and the aviation industry for the sympathy they have shown and their expressions of support at this very difficult time.”

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.