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RCMP Involved In Criminal Probe Of Fatal Peterborough, Ont. Plane Crash

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Steve Russell via Getty Images

TORONTO — Police say RCMP are involved in the probe into a fatal crash involving a plane allegedly stolen from an airport in the Greater Toronto Area.

York Regional police says the Mounties are part of the investigation into last week's fatal crash — which claimed the life of 20-year-old Mohammad Hassan Chaudhary of Markham, Ont., — "from an aviation point of view'' as part of an ongoing probe into the incident.

Staff Sgt. David Mitchell would not comment on reports that Chaudhary had previously faced criminal charges, saying only that the man has "a bit of a history."

The Piper aircraft went down in the early morning hours of last Friday, crashing on a street near a mall in Peterborough, Ont.

Police there said there was only one person in the plane, which was identified as stolen from the airport in Markham shortly afterward.

Photographs of the crash site showed the plane's nose and cockpit completely caved in.

Chaudhary had 'a bit of history'

Mitchell said police would examine the background of anyone involved in such an unusual crime, noting that plane theft is "very rare."

"We know (Chaudhary) has a bit of a history, and how did he get his hands on this plane or why did he take the plane?," he said.

He said someone with little piloting experience could likely still handle flying a small aircraft such as the one that crashed.

"If you've got some flight computer skills, flight simulation and stuff like that on the computer, you can get a pretty good handle on it," he said. "Landing is where you need all the practice."