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Missing N.W.T. charter flight believed dead, RCMP says



It is believed that two pilots who have disappeared since their charter flight fell across the Northwest, according to RCMP.

The King Air 200 airplane from Yellowknife-based Air Tindi was "Whati" – a small community located 140 kilometers northwest of the territorial capital. The pilots were the only people on board.

The search plane later saw an airplane at Behcock, N.W.T, but the fate of the pilots was unknown.

Search and rescue staff deployed in the area at night, according to Canadian Air Force Military Representative David Lavallee. Lavallee said the Canadian Ranger from Behchoko was unable to reach the site due to deep snow and weather.

Air Tindi's President Al Martin said on Thursday that the air force search and rescue team continued to try to reach the airplane overnight.

There wasn't much we could do tonight.– Al Martin, President of Air Tindi

"This morning with our emergency response team," said Martin.

"Tonight there wasn't much we could do."

The RCMP announced on Thursday that the cause of the accident is being investigated by the police, N.W.T. Coroner's Office and Transport Security Authority (TSB).

TSB said investigators are going to the site to "gather information and evaluate the event."

Sgt. Alfred Beaverho, Head of the Canadian Rangers, told CBC News that the plane was spotted at Behcock, N.W.T. (CBC)

Search delays the weather

Communication with the flight was lost occasionally from. 9:00 to 9:30, local time, Wednesday when it was about 24 to 32 kilometers outside Whati, according to Martin.

The RCMP contacted the Air Force around lunch, said Lavallee. Winnipeg was sent a C-130 Hercules aircraft to help with the search, and the Canadian Ranger was deployed with a snowmobile.

After morning and early afternoon watching, Ranger returned to Whati to warm up and get more gas to go back and search, according to Rangers Sgt. Alfred Beaverho.

However, while they were planning an afternoon search, they got the word that the plane was noticed.

According to Environmental Canada, Wednesday was snow. Low weather conditions hampered search efforts, said RCMP.

As a result, Air Tindi flights were stopped on Wednesday.

The Canadian Armed Forces C-130 Hercules aircraft is served at Yellowknife Airport on Thursday. Hercept was sent from Winnipeg to help find a charter plane that disappeared on Wednesday in the Northwest Territories. (Randall McKenzie / CBC)


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