TSB begins investigation into cause of Vancouver Island plane crash
VANCOUVER -- The pilot of a Cessna 172 who died when his plane crashed in a remote location on Vancouver Island on Saturday was a man in his 70s who lived in the Comox Valley, according to the BC Coroners Service.
The man’s body has now been removed from the crash site, according to the RCMP, and the Transportation Safety Board has begun its investigation into what caused the crash. The coroner will also be investigating the cause of death, said Andy Watson, a spokesperson.
Watson confirmed the pilot’s next-of-kin had been notified.
Search and rescue crews have completed their work at the scene and the TSB is in communication with them.
It’s not clear whether the TSB will deploy its own team to the rugged, remote inlet or work with local authorities to retrieve what investigators need to determine the cause of the crash.
TSB spokesperson Sophie Wistaff told CTV News the aircraft took off from the Courtenay Airpark on Saturday, and had been due to return to its origin.
Wistaff added the TSB is still working to get radar data and air traffic control communications from Nav Canada.
In a press release, RCMP said the Comox Valley detachment learned the plane was missing around 4 p.m. Saturday. The plane was scheduled to land at 1:30 p.m., according to police.
After contacting several Vancouver Island airports, Mounties were unable to locate the missing plane, and called the JRCC to initiate a search, police said.
Maj. Sandy Bourne, senior public affairs officer for the JRCC, said the search began Saturday night, but crews were initially unable to locate a beacon that had been set off.
"We got a call that there was a plane that hadn't shown up, or someone had called in and they were looking for someone," she said. "So then we just went and looked for the beacon, found it, and we're where we are now."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ian Holliday