Atlin’s Anguish (by Brendan Lillis)
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On September 27, 1986, pilot Theresa Bond and five passengers took off on a routine flight from Atlin, British Columbia in her beloved de Havilland Beaver. The Taku Air passenger list that day included local politician Al Passarell, his wife, and three of Atlin's most prominent citizens -- including larger-than-life Atlin Inn owner Joe Florence. After an uneventful 80 minutes, the plane crossed the edge of Dease Lake, turned south and descended for landing. But something went tragically wrong in those last few minutes of Flight 2653.
According to eyewitnesses, the Beaver nosedived into the lake at full cruising speed. As the plane sank into the icy depths of the lake, only pilot Theresa Bond managed to escape; all five passengers drowned.
The small town of Atlin was torn apart by the tragedy. Years of endless hearings and inquiries supplied few answers, only fuelling the sorrow and anger of grieving families and friends. In time the furor surrounding the inquest dissipated but, for Theresa Bond, the flames of her own private hell continued to consume her. Unable to live with the guilt and loss she had caused the families of her passengers, Bond plummeted into despair.
Atlin's Anguish is a brother's dedicated and loving journey to understanding what happened that day on Dease Lake. Was it simply a lack of experience that caused Bond to lose control at such a crucial moment, or were there other circumstances that led to the crash of Flight 2653?