2 dead after plane crash in Kananaskis

The twin-engine plane crashed at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Rae Glacier area, RCMP said in a release.

Twin-engine plane crashed Wednesday afternoon in the Rae Glacier area

Emergency vehicles are seen along a mountain road near Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, following reports of a plane crash. (Submitted by Rick Nash)

Two men are dead after a plane crashed into a mountain in Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary, on Wednesday.

The twin-engine, Piper PA-31 Navajo crashed at approximately 1:30 p.m. in the Rae Glacier area, RCMP said.

"As far as we know, they were doing a mapping exercise," Cpl. Chris Kosack said.

"They did hit the mountain known as Mount Rae and then slid down from there."

RCMP established there were two people on board the plane, and Kananaskis Public Safety Officers recovered two bodies from the wreckage.

Chris Krepski, a spokesperson with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said the plane had a pilot and survey technician onboard.

The plane was headed from Penticton to the Calgary Springbank Airport, and hit the mountain about 64 kilometres southwest of that airport, Krepski said. 

Public safety officials respond by helicopter to the airplane crash near Rae Glacier on Wednesday. (Rick Nash)

"We're deploying investigators to the access site tomorrow, they're expected to arrive late in the morning. We'll be gathering information on the site there," Krepski said. 

He said there was no indication yet on the cause of the crash, but investigators will survey the aircraft and collect pieces of the wreckage for further examination. 

Calida Lara of Aries Aviation Services Corp. confirmed the plane was owned by Aries.

She declined to provide any additional information about the plane's route or occupants until the families could be notified. 

Police said they wouldn't be providing any information about the plane's occupants at this time. 

Hiking trails and backcountry access in the area, including Ptarmigan Cirque Trial, the Rae Glacier Route and Rae Mountain, are closed.

RCMP say they were dispatched to the Rae Glacier area for reports of a plane crash. (Google Maps)

With files from Reid Southwick, Sarah Rieger and The Canadian Press