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Bodies recovered from last week's float plane crash north of Port Hardy

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Alex Berube said divers worked through challenging weather conditions to find the bodies of the pilot and two passengers.
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Patrick Lehman has been identified as the pilot in a float plane crash north of Port Hardy on Nov. 23. VIA FACEBOOK

The bodies of the pilot and two passengers who died in a float-plane crash last week north of Port Hardy have been recovered by Port Hardy RCMP and the RCMP Dive Team. 

The plane went down Nov. 23 while pilot Patrick Lehman was flying two people from a logging camp to Port Hardy. 

An online fundraising page for the partner and daughter of one of the passengers, who has not been named, says it’s raising money to help the two with their rent, food and other monthly bills. 

What started as an exciting day heading home from a logging camp for days off “ended in tragedy” when the plane went down shortly after takeoff, the page says. 

“He was a partner, dad, son, brother, cousin, nephew and way too young,” it says. 

The fundraising goal of $12,000 had been exceeded by late Monday afternoon, with about $17,700 donated. 

B.C. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Alex Berube said divers worked through challenging weather conditions to find the bodies, which have been turned over to the B.C. Coroners Service. 

The downed plane is owned by the Air Cab float plane company, whose president Joel Eilertsen described Lehman as “a very qualified pilot, a very good person.” 

Liam MacDonald, a spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, says the TSB plans to deploy resources to the scene, but is still in the process of gathering information and assessing the situation. 

The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed it is looking into the crash but said it can’t comment further while the investigation is underway. 

The online fundraiser is at gofundme.com/f/support-alison-lily-in-a-tragic-loss 

jbell@timescolonist.com

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