A tragic end to a six day search has prompted an investigation into the crash that killed a Colorado man in the Northwest Territories.
American businessman Terry Johnson, 75, went missing on July 24 after departing from Norman Wells in a single-engine Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. He was said to be returning to the United States after a canoeing and fishing trip in the NWT.
Johnson was supposed to stop to refuel in Peace River, Alta., but his plane never made it. His last contact with air traffic personnel was 50 km outside of Norman Wells, prompting the search.
Search efforts ended Thursday morning when a Coast Guard Helicopter from Hay River located what was thought to be a recent crash impact site approximately 130 km outside of Norman Wells.
Two Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technicians were loaded onto the aircraft, and it was confirmed to be the crash site of Johnson’s plane.
“Regrettably the pilot, Mr. Terry Johnson from Colorado, was deceased,” said Capt. Jeff Noel, a Canadian Forces spokesman.
There were as many as 12 aircraft involved in the search operation at any given time, said Noel, including two Canadian Forces Hercules aircraft and several Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) volunteers from across the NWT, Alberta and Winnipeg.
“In total you are looking at 100 military and civilian personnel,” said Noel.
The cause of the crash is not yet known, and the investigation is being conducted by the Transportation Safety Board and RCMP.
“All matters have been turned over to the RCMP and local authorities,” said Noel.