"Everyone talks about the weather,
but nobody does anything about it."
||Points to Ponder: Paul Daoust crash - further reports.
||These reports were published in the local press on Friday, 27 June 2003 but are no longer available from the original online sources: "Balm Beach pilot..." and "OPP responds..." plus on Wednesday, 2 July 2003: "Deceased pilot 'cool under pressure'...".
Balm Beach pilot dies in Nottawasaga Bay plane crash
Jun. 27, 2003
Roberta Avery: The Mirror
Juli Daoust believes her father would have survived his airplane's plunge into Nottawasaga Bay if the water hadn't been so cold.
"He successfully ditched the plane, got out and even closed the door, but the water was so very cold," said Daoust Thursday.
The Ontario Provincial Police Search and Recovery dive team pulled the body of her father, Paul George Daoust, 56, out of the bay Tuesday evening, approximately 12 hours after he made a distress call because of engine problems.
His body was found on the lake bottom about two kilometres from shore at Wasaga Beach, close to where his single-engine Mooney airplane was discovered in 20 metres of water about 90 minutes after his call for help.
The water temperature out from shore was 9:C said Captain David McGilvray of the Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton, who calculated that a person would last only four to five hours in water that cool.
Daoust said she doesn't understand why her father didn't survive, in spite of the cold water.
"He was strong and a good swimmer," she said.
Daoust spent much of Tuesday on the beach in front of her father's cottage, peering out into the distance across the bay, trying to watch the intensive air and water search for her father.
"It was too hazy to really see anything, but I know they tried really hard to find him," said Daoust, 25.
Her father took her up for a flight the day before the crash and the airplane was running well, she said.
"He was a very competent pilot, who took a lot of care of his airplane," she said.
Daoust said her father retired two years ago from his job as an investment portfolio manager for the Hospitals of Ontario Pension Plan to pursue his passions for flying, fishing and fixing up his waterfront cottage at Balm Beach near Midland.
Juli Daoust, who is an only child, said her parents separated some years ago and her father lived alone.
Paul Daoust's younger brother George said that his brother was flying to St. Clair airport near Detroit to attend an air show, before flying on to Florida where he had a condo.
"I was really surprised to hear that he had engine problems. He took care of that plane so well and was always getting it serviced by the best mechanics, so we're anxious to find out how this could have happened." said George Daoust.
OPP responds to pilot's call for help
Angela McEwen: The Mirror
Jun. 27, 2003
A short plane trip between Midland and Collingwood on a bright, sunny morning ended in tragedy for a Balm Beach man early Tuesday.
Paul George Daoust, 56, put out an emergency call just above Nottawasaga Bay near the shoreline of Wasaga Beach.
At 7:40 a.m., the Collingwood OPP detachment received a call that a single-engine plane was in distress over Nottawasaga Bay just east of Collingwood, said Const. Steve Hardisty, community services officer.
"The first call was routed to us from London and relayed to Orillia, then our people were dispatched," said Hardisty. "At the same time, there was the rescue co-ordination centre in Trenton (which dispatched aircraft to the scene)."
A Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft, along with a Coast Guard Labrador Search and Rescue helicopter, came to the scene, joining boats from the Huronia West OPP, the Collingwood OPP and the Wasaga Beach Fire and Rescue service.
The craft combed the water, while emergency personnel searched the bush for two hours and finally spotted the remains of the plane.
"The aircraft was located in 80 feet (27 metres) of water, about four-and-a-half kilometres from shore," said Hardisty.
It was found at 9:30 a.m., just north of 63rd Street at Brock's Beach in Wasaga Beach.
For the remainder of the morning, officers from both detachments were on foot patrol up and down the beach, looking for the pilot.
Late in the afternoon, members of the OPP Underwater Search and Rescue dive team arrived, helping in the search for survivors.
"We assisted in the grid search out on the bay," said Const. Tim Garland, community relations officer for the Huronia West OPP detachment.
Along with foot patrol, the officers launched their boat from Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, he said.
The helicopter crew first noticed the debris just offshore and dropped smoke flares so the emergency boats could make their way to the site, said Garland.
"As soon as we got the call, we had our boat in the water and our people doing the shore search," said Garland. "In these instances, time is of the essence."
Daoust's body was found at 7:30 p.m., 18 metres from the debris.
Transport Canada will lead the investigation to find out the reason for the crash, said Hardisty.
"They'll arrange for the recovery of the wreckage to do their investigation," he added.
A post-mortem on Daoust's body was conducted Wednesday afternoon.
Deceased pilot "cool under pressure"
By Tom Villemaire: Midland Free Press
Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 17:00
The brother of the man who died after crash-landing his plane on Georgian Bay says he has one question to be answered: what happened to the life jacket?
"If he had been wearing it, the police would have found him and he would be okay. My niece flew with him a few days before, and said she saw it in the plane. I just don't know what happened to it," says George Daoust, the pilot's youngest brother.
The pilot, Paul Daoust, 56, will be remembered as a man who came from simple roots and a Tiny Township dirt farm who rose to become a highly valued investment expert in Toronto.
Recently retired, Paul Daoust was enjoying his life, his family and the places he loved the most, Georgian Bay and North Simcoe, when he died suddenly a week ago, while flying his plane to Florida.
His youngest brother says the trait that most characterized his brother was coolness under pressure.
Paul Daoust was the eldest of nine children and the youngest, George Daoust, 46, owns a house next door to old family homestead, says his big brother was a serious man who loved his family, fishing and flying.
George Daoust said from what the police told him, his brother was exercising his cool right up to the last moments they can trace of him landing the plane on water and exiting and closing the door of the aircraft after he left the plane.
"The police say he landed the plane - it was intact when they found it. They also said he managed to get out of the plane and shut the door. That sounds like my brother. He was always very cool under pressure," said George.
George said he was saddened by the confusion over his brother's first name, released incorrectly in early police reports. His brother's residence was also incorrectly reported, which caused confusion for family and friends.
Family was very important to his brother, said George Daoust. Paul delighted his family two years ago by organizing a big family reunion. Relatives came from across the continent, including Texas and an 86-year-old aunt who arrived from Regina.
"He was very well-known up here. It's sad there is the confusion, because many of the people who knew him may not know about his funeral until later, which is sad," said George.
George said his brother kept his plane in top shape and that he didn't even think it was Paul when the first reports of a plane downed over Georgian Bay began to circulate.
"He was a very serious flyer. He left nothing to chance. He had a mechanic who kept the plane in great shape and Paul always did a 20 minute check before taking off. (Paul's daughter) Juli, said she flew with him on a short hop three days before. She said she remembered he kept a life jacket near the pilot's seat.
He had been flying for five years.
"It seemed odd at first. I mean we never thought about flying when we were kids. Then six years ago, he says he's interested in flying and then he gets his licence and then a plane. But he was so smart, he could just do what he wanted to do," said George Daoust.
Paul Daoust had a cottage in Tiny Township, on Georgian Bay, which he loved, said George Daoust.
Last year, Paul Daoust bought a condo in Naples, Florida.
He was flying down to Naples when the plane experienced difficulty, said George Daoust.
"Paul left a message on my brother's answering machine the day he left, saying he was going down to Florida to check on his condo," said George Daoust.
"He spent the winter working on it himself. He had the money to hire someone, but he loved to work with his hands and he was good at it. He worked hard on it all winter and then came up here this spring to enjoy his cottage. This winter coming up would have been the first he would have been able to really enjoy his condo," said George Daoust.
As a teen and young man, Paul almost seemed invincible to his youngest brother.
"He had a hard life when he was young. My father was not an easy man. Paul had a hard time, but he never let it get him down. He survived many things. He was like a cat that way. Maybe he just used up his nine lives," said George Daoust.
Despite the hardship, George Daoust said his brother retained a positive outlook.
"No one ever gave him anything. He earned everything he had. He once said if our father wasn't so hard, he he would not have learned to make do for himself. He could do anything with his hands or his head. He was a good man."
George hopes the investigation puts to bed his questions, including the most outstanding one: what happened to the lifejacket.
"I think someone is going to find his lifejacket washed up on the beach. Maybe it just got taken away from him by a wave."
You are invited to contact us at the "Holmestead".