News Local

Police called in to search Lake Simcoe after plane reported missing; pilot OK

Lance Holdforth

By Lance Holdforth, Special to QMI Agency

Members of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) located a 69-year-old man in northern Ontario after a plane went missing while on route to Hornepayne, Saturday.

"The plane left on Saturday around 2 p.m. from (an air field) in Lake Scugog and he was going to Hornthayne," JRCC Cpt. Jean Houde said. "We located the aircraft yesterday (Monday) around 4 p.m. and the lone pilot was okay, but the aircraft was damaged."

A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130 Hercules plane was called in from 8 Wing Trenton to assist in the 27,000-square-kilometre search.

A grid-pattern search area was established based on the missing plane's flight plan and fuel calculation which included parts of the Simcoe County area.

A Hercules search plane from 17 Wing Winnipeg locked onto the missing plane's transmitter and deployed parachuters who located the missing pilot uninjured before he was extracted from the area and transported to Chapleau.

The single-engine personal aircraft was located 60 kilometres east of Wawa, but Houde couldn't say if the plane crashed or executed an emergency landing.

"I know he was uninjured, and the place was damaged," he said. "We hoisted him out of there and we brought him to Chapleau and that was it."

Provincial police were joined by members of South Simcoe and York Region police services in a search of Lake Simcoe on Monday when officials at the Centre's headquarters in Trenton informed police the plane didn't arrive at it's destination, 990 kilometres north west of its takeoff point in Port Perry.

"Ontario Provincial Police Orillia detachment contacted the York Regional Police to request the assistance of our marine unit in searching for an overdue float plane which had gone off the radar," York Region Police Const. Laura Nicolle told the Examiner. "Trenton JRCC tasked YRP marine unit officers with searching the areas of Lake Simcoe, Georgina Island, 8 Mile Points and other shore areas for the plane."

The marine unit is called to assist in searches for missing people, vessels and medical emergencies as requested by the JRCC and the Canadian Coast Guard.

"While conducting the search we were advised that the plane had been located outside of York Region," Nicolle said. "Many of our units frequently work in partnership with other police services or community groups on incidents or initiatives."


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