Plane down in Marten Hills: military assist in search

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

The Canadian military were in Slave Lake last week, helping in the search for a missing aircraft in the Marten Hills, northeast of Slave Lake. That was the reason a military transport plane was parked at the Slave Lake airport on Sept. 1.

News of the downed aircraft came in on the morning of Aug. 31.

RCMP reported on Friday the plane and its deceased pilot were located on Sept. 2. The pilot was an 84-year-old man from Rosthern, Saskatchewan. He had been flying “from Alberta to Saskatchewan.” His flight had started at LaCrete.

The pilot was the lone occupant of the plane. The cause of the crash has  yet to be determined.

According to an RCMP source, military assistance for such search is often requested when it’s on Crown land and in rugged terrain. This was both of those things, and resources showed up from as far away as Trenton, Ontario, Winnipeg and Cold Lake here in Alberta.

Assisting in the search, in what were not very friendly conditions (low clouds, rain, wind, thick bush and steep slopes) were the local RCMP, Lesser Slave Search & Rescue, the Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service and Alberta Ag & Forestry Forest Protection personnel.

“RCMP will work in collaboration with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada,” says the RCMP news release, “who is investigating the cause of this plane crash.”\

A Canadian Armed Forces plane in Slave Lake on Sept. 1 which was part of the search.

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