The Transportation Safety Board is sending a team out to try and figure out what led to a fatal plane crash in a wooded area northwest of Edmonton earlier this week.
The TSB said Friday it is deploying a team of investigators to the scene of the Cessna 172 crash. The plane was found Thursday in Lac Ste. Anne County, approximately 50 nautical miles — or about a one-hour drive — northwest of Edmonton.
Hours after police said the wreckage of a plane and a body was found on Thursday, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) confirmed it was the small plane that went missing over the weekend.
“The search for missing pilot, Scott Schneider, has ended with the discovery of his Cessna 172,” a news release said.
“Unfortunately, when Royal Canadian Air Force Search and Rescue technicians arrived on scene, he was found without vital signs.”
Earlier in the week, police had been asking residents of areas to the north and west of Alberta’s capital to look for a small plane that had gone missing.
The Cessna 172 departed Edson, Alta. at 5:20 p.m. on Sunday and was set to land in Westlock, Alta. at 7 p.m. The plane never arrived and no contact had been made since with the pilot, Schneider, who was the only person in the aircraft. Schneider was flying with his dog.
Police said they were notified of the discovery of the wreckage at about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and that it was in a wooded area. Search and rescue technicians spotted the wreckage from the air and called police.
“The missing Cessna 172 was discovered by an RCAF CC-130H Hercules crew in a treed area south of Oldman Lake, following the review of local radar logs from a nearby airport,” the RCAF said.
“The aircraft sustained extensive damage,” police said, adding that Transport Canada is now investigating and the medical examiner’s office is involved in the investigation.
“We would like to thank the communities for their support through phoning in with search tips and respecting the family’s privacy during this difficult time,” Maj. Gerry Favre said in a news release.
“We also thank the RCMP and local CASARA volunteers for their tireless efforts over the past several days.
“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we hope it brings closure to the family and friends of Mr. Schneider. The thoughts of the entire search team are with the family right now.”
WATCH: The RCMP are searching for a small aircraft in Alberta that never arrived at its destination. Albert Delitala filed this report on Aug. 14, 2018.
At its height, the search effort involved four RCAF search and rescue aircraft — two CC-130 Hercules and two CH-146 Griffon helicopters — as well as two Civil Air Search and Rescue Association ground units.
“Personnel and aircraft from 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron, based at 17 Wing Winnipeg, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron from CFB Edmonton, 417 Combat Support Squadron from 4 Wing Cold Lake and 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario participated in the search, as did several CASARA volunteers,” the RCAF said.
“Approximately 60 RCAF and CASARA personnel took part in the search in the air, on the ground and in the search headquarters.”