Tragedy struck the Ninety-Nines’ Gold Cup Air Rally in Ontario, Canada, last week. Two participants, Susan Begg, 73, of Ottawa, and Asti Livingston, 43, of Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, were killed in the crash of Begg’s Mooney 201. A 41-year member of the Ninety-Nines who served as Governor of the East Canada Section from 2014–2016, Begg was described as “an experienced pilot,” as was Livingston. Online posts show the pair had flown together previously in air races and rallies. Authorities said one of the occupants died instantly, while the second woman was airlifted to a hospital but did not survive.
The air rally was hosted by South River Sundridge Airpark (CPE6), near North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Local authorities said the Mooney was reported missing around 3 p.m. local time Thursday (Sept. 16) and was found crashed about one-third of a mile from the airport.
According to the Air Rally website, the three-day gathering “is a not a race. This all-women’s cross-country challenge is flown in day VFR conditions only. The competitive part is based on challenges such as aviation related questions, ground photos, calculation of fuel consumption, spot landing, and more. There must be a minimum of 2 persons per aircraft, (pilot and co-pilot).”
The rally was initiated in 2000 by two Canadian members of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization dedicated to promoting women in aviation.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating the accident.