The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has released more details of the plane crash near Smithers that killed three people—including Lorne Borgal, the former CEO of Hudson Bay Mountain Resort—and sent another to hospital.
In a preliminary report on its website, the TSB said the Cessna 182E operated by Lakes District Air was on an aerial mapping mission north of Smithers.
“About three hours into the flight, the pilot transmitted a Mayday before communication was lost,” the TSB said. “The wreckage was located approximately 50 nautical miles north of Smithers adjacent to the Babine River. The aircraft was destroyed due to collision with the terrain.”
The survey the four contractors on the plane were conducting was on behalf of the BC Wildlife Service.
Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in a statement they were doing infrared scans of some of the sites of the 2018 wildfires.
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. The probe is being conducted by Travis Shelongosky, a senior investigator who has worked with the TSB since 2001 and a licensed pilot. The BC Coroner’s Service is conducting an investigation as well.
A second victim has also been identified. Amir Sedghi was an analyst with Precision Vectors, an aerial imagery company founded by Borgal. The identity of the third victim is not yet known.
The fourth person is expected to recover.