Sunday, the 11th of November, 10 AM local time in Snow Lake, Manitoba. Accidents affect everyone in a town this size. It doesn’t change whether the ones involved were close friends, or people you’d barely ever spoken to. It affects us all.
On Sunday morning, there was a plane crash about 10 miles from the Snow Lake airport. The Gogal Air Service flight was taking workers from the nearby Lalor mine down to Winnipeg. The weather conditions weren’t the greatest during take-off, with low clouds and humidity. Of the 8 people aboard the plane, there were serious injuries among the 7 passengers (all of which are in stable conditions, no fatal injuries) and one fatality caused by the crash. Unfortunately, a life was lost. It was that of the man piloting the aircraft, 40-year-old Mark Gogal. When people actually got near the crash site, it took hours to get to the actual site. A local contractor provided a way through the bush by pushing a path using a bulldozer. From there, people from within the town went out to help with trucks, quads, etc. Everyone responded quickly, which was good because without the aid of locals, they might not have gotten there in time. People arrived on the scene of the crash around 11:45 AM. Who knows what would’ve happened without the aid of the locals? We’ll never know, but I don’t imagine the outcome would’ve been in our favor…
The Cessna itself was, for the most part, intact but severely damaged. Much of the damage was due to colliding with trees while crashing through the bush. According to those who were checking the Cessna out to see if there were problems, it seemed like the aircraft was operating properly before the crash. The engine had been running fine, although not a lot more could be determined at this point in time.
The plane is being taken to the TSB lab in Ottawa, where it will be analyzed.
So far, there’s not much information on what caused the crash, other than bad weather.
This accident, and the loss that came with it, has and will really impact the community, I think. It was a tragedy. When things like this happen, the town as a whole is affected. It really doesn’t matter if the people involved in accidents are people you’re close to or people you’ve never spoken to in your life. In a town this closely knit, we all feel the loss. I, for one, didn’t know Mark personally, but I know people who are close to him and his family, and he was a part of the community. I can’t imagine how it must be for his family and those who were like family. :/