Montreal

Body believed to be missing pilot found in Eastern Townships

Authorities located a body believed to be missing pilot Hind Barch, along with her missing aircraft, in a helicopter search near Racine, Que., Saturday afternoon, provincial police have confirmed.

22-year-old flight student and her plane had gone missing near Sherbrooke, Que. earlier this week

Hind Barch had her pilot license and hoped to have a career in aviation. (Facebook)

Authorities located a body believed to be missing flight-student pilot Hind Barch, along with her aircraft, in a helicopter search near Racine, Que., provincial police confirmed.

A Canadian Armed Forces team found the body in a wooded area in the Eastern Townships region Saturday afternoon, about 20 kilometres outside Sherbrooke. 

Barch was alone aboard a Cessna 172 owned by Cargair Flight Training School when it disappeared from radar Wednesday evening. 

Searches for the pilot had been underway in Racine since Friday morning. 

The body was found less than 24 hours after search coordinators said they detected a cell signal near Miller Lake. 

According to the flight school, the aircraft was one of two that departed Mirabel on Wednesday evening. The pilots wanted more experience with night flights, Cargair president Josée Prud'homme said Friday.

Barch had her pilot licence and had hoped to have a career in aviation, Prud'homme added. 

The missing Cessna 172 aircraft, owned by Cargair flight school, had gone missing Wednesday evening. (Cargair)

A total of 50 Canadian Forces personnel took part in the search operation, coordinated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Aircraft operated by the military, Sûreté du Québec and SERABEC, Quebec's aerial search and rescue organization were also used in the effort.

The provincial police's major crimes unit has launched an investigation into the incident in collaboration with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. 

With files from Radio-Canada

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