Museum looks to recover plane wreckage from northern Saskatchewan lake

RCMP divers at the site of a 1959 plane crash in Peter Pond Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan RCMP / Supplied

An aviation group hopes to recover an airplane of historic significance that crashed in northern Saskatchewan nearly 60 years ago.

The single-engine Cessna 180 vanished on Aug. 20, 1959, with pilot Ray Gran and Saskatchewan conservation officer Harold Thompson onboard.

READ MORE: RCMP divers recover remains, items from 1959 plane crash in northern Saskatchewan lake

A private search, launched by Gran’s daughter and son-in-law, used sonar to find the wreckage of a plane in July 2018 in Peter Pond Lake.

RCMP divers recovered human remains and some personal items from the site in January.

The Saskatchewan Aviation Museum in Saskatoon is hoping to raise $150,000 to recover and restore the plane.

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“We’re trying to get our hands on as many airplanes as possible that worked in Saskatchewan, and were part of the history of Saskatchewan,” Dorrin Wallace, president of the museum, explained on Tuesday.

“This airplane represents an era of the Saskatchewan government airways and we don’t have access to any of their airplanes. There’s only one or two left that I know of.”

READ MORE: RCMP dive team hopes to locate long-lost plane in northern Saskatchewan

Gran and Thompson were on a short flight from Buffalo Narrows to La Loche to investigate poaching and deliver mail.

Wallace said the museum is waiting on government approval to retrieve the plane.

He hopes recovery operations start as early as the week of March 18.

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