Thunder Bay

Wasaya Airways pilot found dead north of Pickle Lake

The pilot of the missing Wasaya Airways Cessna 208 aircraft that was located Friday afternoon has been found dead, the company said early Saturday.

Search had been hampered by weather, company says

UPDATE: The pilot of a Wasaya Airways Cessna 208 aircraft that lost radio contact Friday morning has been found dead at a site north of Pickle Lake, Ont., the airline said.

Wasaya Airways said in a news release early Saturday that rescuers arrived at the site at about 10:50 p.m. the night before and found Capt. Nick Little unresponsive. 

"He could not be resuscitated," the statement said.

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A Wasaya Airways Cessna 208 aircraft was found this afternoon, after losing radio contact earlier this morning.

Wasaya Airways said Canadian Forces Search and Rescue has located the Wasaya Airways Cessna 208 aircraft.

Members of the Northwest Region Emergency Response Team are assisting with search and rescue operation, along with members of RCAF 8 Wing Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Tech). 

The OPP said it is continuing to work with rescue parties as well as Wasaya and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). 

The OPP said rescue crews have yet to reach the wreckage due to inclement weather. A helicopter was sent from Sioux Lookout earlier this afternoon, but had to turn around due to heavy icing.

A ground search has now started, however freezing rain and poor weather is slowing down efforts. The airline said it hopes to reach the plane before nightfall.

Wasaya said there is still no word on the condition of the pilot. The cargo plane had one pilot on board, and no passengers.

The plane was spotted about 28 km north of Pickle Lake. It was en route to Wapekeka First Nation.

The aircraft appears to be in one piece, and there was no sign of smoke or fire, said Wasaya. 

Just after 9:00 a.m. Wasaya received information indicating that the Caravan aircraft was overdue and no longer in radio contact, the company said in a release sent Friday afternoon. 

The aircraft was travelling from Pickle Lake, Ont., to Wapekeka, Ont., a fly-in community, over 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.