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Squall forces pilot to crash plane near Island Lake

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The pilot of a commercial Cessna plane survived a crash landing near Island Lake Wednesday afternoon. There were no passengers aboard the aircraft.

Just after 3 pm., RCMP were notified that an aircraft emergency locator transmitter had been activated in the area. RCMP responded with a vehicle, helicopter and snowmobiles. They found the 26-year-old pilot and took him to Garden Hill nursing station for treatment of minor injuries.

The 1973 Cessna 207 operated out of Sandy Lake, Ontario. It was found by RCMP searchers on snowmobile on Island Lake, about two miles off the winter road.

Peter Hildebrand, of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said the pilot crashed the plane onto the ice after running into white out conditions right after take off.

"There was damage to the front wheel and the propeller was bent," Hildebrand said today.

"We’re not listing him as injured at all. He’s back at work today."

Hildebrand said the TSB has already given the pilot authorization to tow the plane off the ice to be repaired.

Hildrebrand said the plane was taking off from Garden Hill bound for St. Theresa Point when it ran into a sudden snow squall.

Police continue to investigate.

"It was a visibility thing," he said.

Cuthbert Munroe, a band councillor at the Garden Hill First Nation, said the pilot himself went for help.

"He walked away from it and walked to the main winter road," Munroe said.

"He was taken to the nursing station, but he’s okay. It was a total whiteout for a brief time. Ten centimetres of snow fell."

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