Operators of a B.C. flight school say a 16-year-old pilot had abandoned his flight plan in the minutes before the single-engine plane crashed west of Kamloops.
Lorne Perreault, 16, was flying a solo flight as part of his training towards a private pilot license. The Cessna 172 was reported missing on Tuesday. The wreckage and Perreault’s body were found Wednesday evening.
David Cruz, the director of TylAir Aviation where Perreault was a student, says the pilot had abandoned a strict flight plan that set a 20-kilometre radius around the Kamloops airport. The plane was found 55 kilometres west of Kamloops in the Cache Creek Hills.
"This is indeed a tragedy that truly words cannot express -- the shock that event has brought on not only the family but everyone else involved," Cruz said.
Cruz also says the Cessna had completed a mandatory full maintenance check on July 12, and although a cause of the crash has not been determined, Cruz believes mechanical issues will not be a factor.
He also confirms the teen had logged nearly 100 hours of flight time before the crash and was considered an experienced student well on the way to obtaining his private pilot's licence.
The Transportation Safety Board has sent two investigators to the crash site in the hopes of determining why the plane crashed.