Man dies after stealing, crashing small plane: police


PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Police say a man who stole a small plane from a rural airport in the Greater Toronto Area died Friday after crashing the aircraft onto a street in a southern Ontario city.

Police in Peterborough, Ont., located about 140 kilometres east of Toronto, say the man in his 20s was the only person in the Piper aircraft when it went down just after 1 a.m.

Insp. Lynne Buehler said the man is believed to have stolen the small plane sometime on Thursday night, though she wouldn’t specify which rural airport the craft was taken from.

She says the man was found dead by emergency crews who responded to the crash site, located near a mall in Peterborough.

Buehler says police were able to identify the owner of the plane, which is how officers established that the aircraft had been stolen.

The Transportation Safety Board has sent staff to the crash site.

“Our investigation will continue to determine the events that led to the theft of the plane and also the circumstances surrounding the crash,” Buehler said. “It would appear he was attempting to land the plane.”

An autopsy on the man who died was scheduled to be conducted in Toronto on Friday.

Buehler said it’s not yet clear if the man had a pilot’s licence.

Photographs of the crash site show the plane’s nose and cockpit completely caved in.