An Ontario man has been identified as the person who died when a plane crashed into the side of a busy road in Saskatoon.

In a news release, police in Saskatoon said the family of Iaroslav Gorokhovski, 47, of Embrun had been notified of his death. Gorokhovski was an airborne survey electronics technician.

The town is about 40 kilometres southeast of Ottawa.


Transport Canada officials were expected to arrive on the scene Saturday to inspect the wreckage as part of their investigation. (Britainy Robinson/CBC)

Two other people on board, the pilot and co-pilot, were taken to hospital with what ambulance officials described as minor injuries. They were released from hospital on Saturday.

Terry McConnell, an official with Fugro Airborne Surveys, said the plane was one of two of that type owned by the company.

He said the plane was doing geological survey work, usually done at an altitude of about 120 metres, near Saskatoon on Friday when the crew reported that one of its engines had failed.

McConnell said the plane began climbing as the pilots declared an emergency. The plane was on the final approach for a landing at Saskatoon's airport when it crashed.

Some eyewitnesses have stated that neither of the plane's propellers were turning when it went down, but McConnell said he couldn't confirm that.

"It sounds like it's a possibility," he said. "It seems to me a logical conclusion that we didn't have enough power to reach the end of runway.

Officials said the plane lost all power and slammed into the ground on Wanuskewin Road, also known as Wanuskewin Drive, in northeast Saskatoon, about two kilometres from the airport. It hit a concrete sound barrier on the side of the road, about 10 metres away from a residential area and across the street from a supermarket.

Pilots looked 'terrified'

Eyewitnesses said it appeared the pilot was trying to avoid hitting either the nearby houses or the busy Extra Foods grocery store.

A man sitting in a car in the supermarket parking lot at the time said it was close enough that he could see the pilots' faces.

"They just looked terrified. It looked like he tried to land on the road, but I guess there was too many cars on the road, and he just hit the wall, right on top of it. The wall just exploded," said Jaden Ernst.

McConnell said the company "met with the family [of the deceased] late yesterday and we've been in touch with them a few times today to keep the communication flowing and keep them apprised of anything we find out," McConnell said.

2815 Wanuskewin Rd. Saskatoon

Officials from the Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that does aviation crash investigations, were on scene Saturday to begin their work. Local fire and emergency crews have secured the site crash.

Crane to remove debris

Police said Saturday afternoon that a crane and flatbed truck were being set up to remove the debris.

"Wanuskewin Road northbound from 51 Street is presently closed to traffic and will remain closed for approximately the next three hours," police announced just before 4 p.m. CST. "This is to allow a crane and flatbeds to remove the plane to airport property for further investigation by the Transportation Safety Board."


This is the aircraft believed to have crashed, rigged for collecting geological data. (Andy Graf/Vienna Aviation Photography)

Dustin MacMillan, who was driving home at the time of the crash, told CBC News Friday that he caught a glimpse of the plane as it hit the ground and he stopped his car just a few metres from the wreckage.

"Lots of debris and loud sounds and you get out and try to help however we can," he said.

Other motorists also stopped to help.

Fire crews reported they were on the scene within three minutes of the crash.

With files from the Canadian Press