Family members have confirmed the pilot of the small aircraft killed in a crash near Baldur, Man. this weekend is Harold Parsonage.

Parsonage, 60, of Baldur, was flying alone in his personal Piper aircraft from Gillam to a private landing strip in the rural municipality of Argyle.

Police say he had been scheduled to fly in to the landing strip around 6:30 p.m. Friday, but contact was lost with the aircraft shortly after its scheduled arrival time.

After calling off a search Friday night, the plane was found in a wooded area close to the landing strip, near Baldur, around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Parsonage was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I feel bad for their family, it's a week before Christmas — you wouldn't want that to happen to anybody," said Daniel Martens, the reeve of the RM of Argyle, who knew Parsonage.

'A loss for the whole community'

"It's a loss for the whole community — they're very well liked people and they operated a good business that was very needed in our area."

Martens described Parsonage as a local farmer who owned a field-spraying business.

He said Parsonage was an avid flyer who had been piloting aircraft "most of his life."

Martens says news of the fatal crash has sent shockwaves throughout Baldur, a community of just over 300, roughly 200 km southwest of Winnipeg.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "He put a lot of hours in on a plane — he liked to fly."

Killarney RCMP say investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada have been notified of the crash and will be leading the investigation.