Antarctic pilot's friend says body recovery is risky

A long-time pilot and friend of Inuvik's Bob Heath says crews have a tough call to make, in deciding whether to try again to the recover the bodies of three men killed in Antarctica.
One of the missing Canadians in Antarctica is Bob Heath, a pilot with more than 25 years of experience flying in the kind of extreme conditions in the Arctic and Antarctica. Interview with Jim Pearce, a colleague and retired pilot 5:59

A long-time pilot and friend of Inuvik's Bob Heath says crews have a tough call to make, in deciding whether to try again to the recover the bodies of three men killed in Antarctica.

Heath was flying the plane in January of this year, when it crashed into the side of a snow-covered mountain.

His body, and the two other on board, have not been recovered, mainly because of dangerous conditions at the crash site, such as unpredictable weather conditions and the threat of avalanche.

The wreckage from a Canadian plane that crashed in Antarctica on Jan. 23 killing three Canadians on board. (Drew Coleman/Antarctica NZ/Canadian Press)

Willard Hagen was a friend and colleague of Heath's for 25 years.

"It's one of the [most remote and] dangerous parts of the planet, if not the most [remote] and dangerous," Hagen says. "It's probably almost easier to rescue someone from the moon in some ways."

Hagen says he wouldn't want anyone to die as a result of the rescue. The families of the three men were told in a coroner's inquest that the recovery of their loved ones may never happen.

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