NEWS

Fatal plane crash: Identity of 3 bodies not yet confirmed

03/19/2015 09:46 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT
An aviation expert in Sudbury says planes like the one in a fatal crash south of Sudbury on Tuesday don't have the required equipment to land on anything other than a surface like an airport runway.

Dan Melanson said Piper Saratoga planes are reliable, but if an emergency landing is needed, a pilot only has so many options.

“The Saratoga has retractable landing gear, so it's not equipped or designed to land on anything, but a prepared surface.”

Provincial police say the plane was attempting to make an emergency landing before it was reported missing. Three bodies were found among the wreckage, located about 25 kilometres west of Henvey Inlet First Nation, south of Sudbury.

Police said the debris is in a densely wooded area that's inaccessible by road.

OPP Constable Miles Loach said the crash site is hidden in a densely wooded area at the mouth of the Pickerel and French rivers.

“Without knowing exactly where it is, if you're out on the bay it could take you hours to get there by snow machine,” he said.

“It’s not accessible by snow machine at all, so they're going to have to use a helicopter to get in.”

Provincial Police have not yet released the names of the three people who died, and are waiting for the results of a post mortem exam.

OPP Sergeant Carolle Dionne noted that "parts of the plane were burnt" and there are possibly "two sites of wreckage ... in that same vicinity."

The plane, which started its flight in Sudbury, was headed to North Carolina. It was registered to Med-Law Aviation, which has the same address as a local law firm in Sudbury owned by Leo Arseneau, a local lawyer and pilot.

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