Complaint made about ‘illegal’ air taxi before crash killed fugitives

Pilot who died with B.C. fugitives in Ontario crash was promoting his providers on Facebook Marketplace

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Four months earlier than pilot Abhinav Handa, his good friend and two fugitives died in a aircraft crash, one other B.C. pilot reported Handa to Transport Canada, alleging he was working an unlicensed air taxi service, Postmedia has realized.

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Handa was providing “scenic tours” and constitution providers on Facebook Marketplace utilizing the Piper plane that crashed close to Sioux Lookout, Ontario, on April 29. Handa, accused hitman Gene Lahrkamp, needed B.C. gangster Duncan Bailey and Hankun Hong, additionally a pilot, died.

B.C. flight teacher Azam Azami contacted Transport Canada in December after seeing Handa’s on-line advert providing air taxi service and vacationer flights.

Azami, who’s had a pilot’s licence since 2012, informed Postmedia that he checked the registration of the aircraft and noticed that it was not listed as a industrial plane.

He presupposed to be a buyer involved in reserving a flight and had a web based chat with Handa, who admitted to Azami that he wasn’t a flight teacher, regardless of claiming on-line that he was.

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Handa stated the “new company” he labored for referred to as “A&T flights” used “commercial pilots” and was owned by others.

“I’m not the owner of anything,” Handa informed Azami.

Gene Lahrkamp was among four people killed when their Piper aircraft crashed in a remote area near Sioux Lookout, Ont., on April 29.
Gene Lahrkamp was amongst 4 folks killed when their Piper plane crashed in a distant space close to Sioux Lookout, Ont., on April 29. Photo by Handout

In reality, A&T was not registered with the B.C. authorities till March 2022. On the company data, Handa and Tessa Melnychuk are listed as the one firm administrators. Melnychuk can also be the proprietor of the Piper aircraft, in accordance with the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register.

She and Handa lived collectively at a Steveston handle, the data present. She has not responded to quite a few messages left by Postmedia.

Handa, 26, informed Azami the Piper flew out of the Boundary Bay Airport and might be chartered to any Canadian vacation spot for about $2,000 a day or $350 an hour for shorter journeys.

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Azami then admitted to him that he was additionally a pilot and steered that Handa didn’t have the correct licences to be flying charters and excursions. Azami additionally informed the younger pilot that he would report him to Transport Canada, resulting in a profanity-laced trade between the 2. Azami supplied the web dialog to Transport Canada on Dec. 6 and to Postmedia this week.

Azami additionally supplied the e-mail he despatched to a Transport Canada investigator on Dec. 6, 2021 about Handa’s constitution service.

“Attached to this email are several pictures of yet another publicly advertised, illegal scenic flight tour and air taxi/charter services on Facebook Marketplace,” Azami informed the investigator. “If this person is operating illegally, he is putting himself and the public at risk.”

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Duncan Bailey
Duncan Bailey PNG

On Friday, Azami stated he assumes Transport Canada regarded into the difficulty, although he by no means heard again.

Transport Canada spokesperson Sau Sau Liu confirmed in an electronic mail Friday that the company “was made aware in December 2021 that a private pilot was offering air taxi services, and started looking into this matter immediately. Details about our ongoing investigation cannot be made public, as it involves third-party information.”

Azami stated he determined to report Handa as a result of he didn’t look like following Transport Canada’s “rules and regulations that are set forth to make sure that the public is safe.”

He stated industrial constitution corporations have a program the place all of the passengers’ names get despatched to a database to forestall fugitives and different criminals from escaping on chartered plane.

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There are a number of investigations occurring into the crash and people aboard. The Transportation Safety Board is what led the aircraft to go down. Ontario Provincial Police are investigating how the fugitives ended up on the ill-fated flight. B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit had already been trying to find Lahrkamp, who was needed in Thailand for the Feb. 5 homicide of former Vancouver gangster Jimi Sandhu, of the United Nations gang. Bailey, of the Independent Soldiers gang, fled after being launched on bail on fees of tried homicide and conspiracy to commit homicide.

Hong, the fourth sufferer, was a Facebook good friend of Handa’s and an avid younger pilot.

Azami stated he usually “ferries” planes for brand spanking new house owners, that means he picks them up and flies them to their new residence base. He stated he has flown “quite a bit” over the realm in Ontario the place the crash occurred.

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“My experience through there is that the weather gets really rough because of the lakes. And he must have gone into some kind of bad weather that he wasn’t experienced with,” Azami stated.

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