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Alberta Military calls off search in Alberta after missing Cessna 172 found; pilot dead

The Royal Canadian Air Force says the search for a missing pilot and his Cessna 172 has ended with the discovery of the light plane and a body in a wooded area northwest of Edmonton.

“The search for missing pilot Scott Schneider has ended with the discovery of his Cessna 172,” the military said in a release Thursday night.

“Unfortunately, when Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue technicians arrived on scene he was found without vital signs.”

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Schneider and the plane were last seen Sunday afternoon taking off from an airfield in Edson, Alta., bound for nearby Westlock.

He was reported missing the following day when he failed to report for work.

The military deployed Hercules aircraft and helicopters to search the rural area between the two communities.

“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we hope it brings closure to the family and friends of Mr. Schneider,” Maj. Gerry Favre, searchmaster with 1 Canadian Air Division said.

“The thoughts of the entire search team are with the family right now.”

The military said it found the plane after reviewing radar logs from a nearby airport.

Schneider was flying alone with his dog.

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RCMP Cpl. Chris Warren said the aircraft was found in Lac. St. Anne County.

“The RCMP attended and discovered an aircraft with extensive damage and a body at the scene” Warren said.

Warren said Transport Canada and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are investigating.

Warren said the family of the missing pilot has been in contact with RCMP since the plane was reported missing.

The military had said the search for the plane had been hampered by smoke from wildfires in B.C. that prevented civilian aircraft from taking part.

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