Officials told Global News that Markham Fire and Emergency Services crews and police were called to the southwest side of the airport before 8 p.m. The plane crashed just outside of the airport’s property.
Police said the pilot died at the scene. A spokesperson said as of Thursday night, there were no reports anyone else was on board.
Dr. Shehbaz Butt, an anesthetist at Markham Stouffville Hospital, was identified on Friday as the pilot. The hospital extended condolences to his family in a brief written statement.
“He was a highly valued member of the team and we are devastated by the loss,” the statement said.
In an audio recording shared by the air traffic website LiveATC.net, Butt issued a mayday call.
“Buttonville tower, mayday, mayday, mayday,” he can be heard saying.
A representative at the tower then asked if everything is OK before another pilot responded.
“I saw the one plane is down. Right now there’s a fire,” the pilot responded.
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A Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) spokesperson said a team of investigators attended the scene to gather evidence.
The police spokesperson said officers would provide assistance to TSB investigators if needed.
The circumstances leading up to the crash aren’t clear.