Nova Scotia

Ultralight plane crash in Nova Scotia kills pilot

A 65-year-old pilot died when his ultralight plane crashed Sunday in Nova Scotia's Lunenburg County.

Barss Corner man an experienced pilot, friend says

A piece of the tail is still visible. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

A 65-year-old pilot died when his ultralight plane crashed and burned Sunday in Nova Scotia's Lunenburg County.

The RCMP said Byron Varner, of Barss Corner, was the only person in the lightweight plane.

Varner was an experienced pilot, says his friend and neighbour, Bill Flemming.

"He had flown for years, years  — ever since he was a kid," Flemming said.

Flemming watched Varner practise landing, but then saw him fly too low and nosedive. He found only a fire and some rubble with a few red pieces.

"You could not tell that it was an airplane," Flemming said.

Emergency crews rushed to the crash site near Old Barss Corner Road at about 10:15 a.m. Firefighters, paramedics and RCMP had to walk in about one kilometre from the nearest road to reach the isolated wooded area.

The RCMP confirmed the plane burst into flames after crashing.

Blair Lantz, chief of the New Germany fire department, said his crews spent some time putting the fire out.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

'Coming down really fast'

Carol Mattea was out for a drive with her husband when she saw the plane. She suspected something wasn't right.

"We seen a plane coming down really fast," she told reporters. "You couldn't see no smoke or nothing."

The RCMP said the Transportation Safety Board is aware of the crash but is not expected to go to the site.

CBC reporter Anjuli Patil said she spoke with members of Varner's family but they declined to comment.

Old Barss Corner Road, Nova Scotia. (Google Map)