The pilot of the twin-engine Swearingen Merlin III that crashed in April in British Columbia had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, three times the legal driving limit, a report from the B.C. Coroners Service said. Robert Brandt, 34, and first officer Kevin Wang, 32, died in the crash. Wang did not have drugs or alcohol in his system, according to a CBC report. The incident is still under investigation by the Transportation Safety Board and the coroners service.
The aircraft, carrying cargo for Carson Air, departed from Vancouver International Airport for Prince George early in the morning on April 13. Shortly after takeoff, it dropped from an altitude of about 8,000 feet and hit the ground at about 3,000 feet less than 20 seconds later, investigators found. There was no emergency declared and the TSB said the radar track indicated a fast, steep descent, and the aircraft likely broke up in flight. Crews found the wreckage in steep and wooded terrain about 15 miles from the airport.