August 3, 2019 2:49 pm
Updated: August 3, 2019 2:51 pm

Rescuers find body of pilot over northwestern Quebec

A plane that crashed near Smithers, B.C. Saturday morning is similar to this Cessna 182.

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The Royal Canadian Air Force says the body of a pilot has been found amid plane wreckage in dense forest in northwestern Quebec.

The air force says it located the missing Beechcraft Bonanza airplane around 7 p.m. Friday in Quebec’s Val d’Or region, about 525 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The aircraft was reported overdue July 29. It was travelling from Oshkosh, Wis., to Danbury, Conn., but the pilot had to divert north to avoid a storm.

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Capt. Trevor Reid says the air force, provincial police and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are investigating.

The plane was last tracked on radar flying over a region north of Senneterre, Que., about 530 kilometres northwest of Montreal.

The air force did not identify the pilot.

“We know he turned north to avoid a very large storm,” Reid said Saturday in an interview. “What remains unknown and what is now part of the investigation … is how he came to be that far north.”

READ MORE: Pilot deploys parachute moments before plane crash in Quebec

The aircraft was spotted by a rescue team flying an RCAF Griffon helicopter, Reid said.

“It was found in very austere terrain, dense forest and large trees,” he said. “The pilot was found with no vital signs.”

About 100 rescuers from the RCAF, Quebec’s provincial police and other agencies participated in the search operation.

READ MORE:Three dead after plane crashes near lake in northern Quebec

Capt. John Landry, Searchmaster, 1 Canadian Air Division, thanked local communities for their support.

“While this is not the outcome we had wanted, we hope it brings closure to the family and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time,” Landry said in a statement.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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