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Father of 18-year-old killed in mid-air collision lobbying Transport Canada for mandatory safety equipment

CALGARY — Brad Leinweber wants to see the use of an Aircraft Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) made mandatory on tow planes and gliders across the country. Leinweber’s 18-year-old son Adam and 68-year-old glider instructor Allan Wood died July 26, 2019 after the glider they were flying collided with the plane towing it 34 seconds after takeoff. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) noted in its official report  “When the two planes reached an approximate altitude of 6,100 feet above sea level during a medium bank turn the glider released from the towline.

Typically, a glider pilot will release from a towline when both aircraft are in straight and level flight, but the TSB found that when the anticipated release point was reached, the glider had already been detached from the towline.” “The tow pilot didn’t know where the glider was,” said Leinweber. “Instead of getting on his radio to find out he made his usual left turn to approach the airfield and that’s when he hit the glider.” Both aircraft actually were equipped with the ACAS but according to the TSB, the device on the tow plane wasn’t working since March 2019, four months before the crash.

In its official report released in February, it stated “ACAS can significantly reduce the risk of mid-air collisions, if an aircraft is equipped with such a system, it is important it is maintained and in good condition.” Leinweber set up a web site where people can log in to generate an email to the transportation minister along with a link to a petition. “We are lobbying Transport Canada to make the use of aircraft collision avoidance systems on gliders and tow planes mandatory,” said Leinweber. “So that no other family has to go through this.”

Learn more about the lobbying effort here:   https://legislatesafegliding.ca/