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Pilot makes emergency landing in woods near Petawawa, rescued with minor injuries

Search and rescue crews responded to the site of a downed plane roughly 74 kilometres north of Petawawa, Ont. on Saturday.

Canadian forces, CASARA, and Sûreté du Quebec all involved in rescue effort

A screenshot from a video by CFB Trenton's 8 Wing showing search and rescue crews from 424 Squadron lifting an injured pilot from the site of a crash roughly 74 kilometres north of Petawawa, Ont. (John Last/CBC)

A pilot who was forced to make an emergency landing in the woods north of Petawawa, Ont., escaped with minor injuries, search and rescue officials say.

Lt. Col. Jean-Paul Landry of CFB Trenton's 424 Squadron said the search and rescue team was alerted to a crash roughly 74 kilometres north of Petawawa around 11:20 a.m Saturday.

"It was [in a] heavily wooded area, no real road access, fairly remote," Landry said.

En route, crews received visual confirmation of the location of the crash site from volunteers with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), which had a plane in the air at the time.

"Having that CASARA airplane there definitely made things more efficient," Landry said.

Crews arrived around 2 p.m. to find a small Cessna 150 downed in the woods, with a female pilot — the only person on  board — waiting for rescue outside.

"When we picked them up, they were stable," Landry said. Crews brought her to Pembroke Regional Hospital, which confirmed she was assessed and cleared to leave the hospital on Saturday.

Landry said a number of factors made this search and rescue operation a breeze.

Aside from successfully making an emergency landing in a wooded area resulting in minimal injuries, the pilot was well-equipped with an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) and SPOT device broadcasting her exact location.

Search and rescue technicians on the ground in the wooded area of the plane crash north of Petawawa. (Submitted by 8 Wing Trenton)

The pilot also made a mayday call before landing, and CASARA's search-and-rescue pilot was able to share her latitude and longitude with military crews before they even arrived in the area.

A helicopter from the Sûreté du Quebec also assisted.

"SAR cases like this one illustrate the effectiveness of ELTs," reads a release from the Department of National Defence on the crash, "and how important it is that pilots ensure their [emergency devices] are in good working order prior to each flight."

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