RCMP say 2 die in Manitoba plane crash


SANFORD, Man. – Two men have died in a small plane crash in Manitoba that took several hours for searchers to locate due to poor weather.

RCMP say the single-engine Cessna took off on Thursday from St. Andrews, north of Winnipeg, and was reported late at its destination in Winkler.

Police, along with a Canadian Armed Forces search-and-rescue team, eventually found the wreckage in a field near Brunkild, about 45 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg early Friday.

“Unfortunately, there were two males on board — a 60-year-old and a 41-year-old — and both were deceased when we located the plane,” RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel said.

Police said both men were from Winkler.

Albert Paetkau told CTV Winnipeg that the 60-year-old who died was his brother, Art Paetkau while people on social media identified the younger man as electrician John Friesen.

Paetkau is the registered owner of a plane with the tail markings seen on the wreckage.

Friends said he owned Arty’s Air Service, a company that specialized in crop spraying.

The site said Paetkau started his business in 1979 and had been a pilot in the agricultural field for more than 25 years.

Jake Rempel, who owns an electrical shop near Arty’s Air Service, said he knew both men who died in the crash.

He told CTV that Paetkau had been a pilot as long as he’d known him.

“Now I have two funerals to go,” Rempel said.

The Transportation Safety Board said it had deployed investigators to the site.

Seel said searchers used snowmobiles, but weather conditions and visibility were poor at the time.

“They filed a flight plan, so they (researchers) were able to use that.”

(CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)