Local physician identified as pilot killed in Buttonville airport crash

The man who died after a small plane crashed near the Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham, Ont., Thursday evening has been identified as a local physician.

Markham Stouffville Hospital says anesthetist Shehbaz Butt died in small plane crash Thursday

The Markham Stouffville Hospital says Shehbaz Butt was killed in a small plane crash near Buttonville Airport on Thursday. (John Hanley/CBC)

The man who died after a small plane crashed near the Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham, Ont., Thursday evening has been identified as a local physician.

The Markham Stouffville Hospital confirmed to CBC Toronto that the plane's pilot, Shehbaz Butt, was killed in the fiery crash. 

The hospital said in a statement that Butt "made a significant contribution to the hospital" as an anesthetist. 

"He was a highly valued member of the team and we are devastated by the loss," the hospital added. "Our condolences go out to his family at this time."

Butt was killed when a plane went down at about 8 p.m. on Thursday, according to York Region police.

Insp. Lesley Weller said the crash occurred in an open area just west of the airport, away from any buildings or roads.

She said there were no other injuries.

The Transportation Safety Board says it sent two investigators to the site Thursday where they determined that Butt had radioed air traffic control saying that there was a problem shortly after taking off from runway 15 of the airport.

Investigators say he attempted to make a right-hand turn back to the airport, but the turn steepened, the plane's nose dropped and the aircraft crashed into a field on the southwest side of the airport, bursting into flames. 

The TSB says the aircraft, a privately registered 1980 Bellanca, also known as a Super Decathlon, was recovered yesterday.

With files from The Canadian Press