Manitoba

Body of pilot killed in Little Grand Rapids plane crash recovered, RCMP say

The body of the pilot who died in a plane crash near Little Grand Rapids, Man., last month was recovered from Family Lake Tuesday night, RCMP said in a news release.

The body of the last remaining passenger was also found, but hasn't been recovered yet

Jonathan Friesen's body was recovered Tuesday. He was killed in a plane crash near Little Grand Rapids, Man., on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Blue Water Aviation)

The body of the pilot who died in a float plane crash near Little Grand Rapids, Man., last month was recovered from Family Lake Tuesday night, RCMP said in a news release.

RCMP search and rescue crews have been searching the lake since Oct. 26 when police said witnesses saw the plane go into the lake. Three people were on board.

Mounties said the 39-year-old pilot's body was pulled from the water yesterday and the body of the 42-year-old passenger was also found. 

RCMP are currently trying to recover his body as well.

Last month, Ed and Steve Gaffray, the owners of Blue Water Aviation, identified the pilot as Jonathan Friesen.

Friesen was an experienced pilot who logged over 9,000 flight hours and worked for the air charter service for 17 years — 15 of which were spent flying de Havilland Otter airplanes, the model of plane that crashed on Oct. 26, the owners said. 

"Blue Water is a family run company. This tragedy has deeply touched us all," they said, adding that their thoughts are with the families of the victims.

Jonathan Friesen was an experienced pilot who logged about 9,000 flight hours. (Blue Water Aviation)

The rescue team recovered the body of a third man, a 49-year-old, on Oct. 28. 

RCMP said in its release Wednesday that the investigation was turned over to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

"More than likely we'll conduct a full investigation with a report," Alex Fournier, a spokesperson for the TSB told CBC News.

"We're still making decisions on the level of investigation we'll undertake."

Little Grand Rapids is located about 270 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

Little Grand Rapids is located about 270 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. (CBC)

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