Two dead in plane crash in Yukon, northwestern Canada

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Pilot Shawn Thomas Kitchen, 24, and passenger Julia Lane, 33, died in a crash near Mayo Lake on Tuesday. (Facebook)
Two people who died in a plane crash in the Yukon on Tuesday have been identified.

Shawn Thomas Kitchen, 24, of Whitehorse was the pilot of the aircraft. Julia Lane, 33, of Vancouver, was the passenger, according to the Yukon Coroner’s Service.

The plane, a Cessna 208 Caravan operated by Alkan Air, was reported missing just after 12 p.m. local time on Tuesday after leaving Rackla, a mining airstrip about 150 kilometres northeast of Mayo. The aircraft was en route to Mayo.

The wreckage of the plane was located about 20 minutes by air from the Yukon community and both occupants were confirmed dead at the scene, Alkan Air said in a statement Tuesday.

A Cessna Grand Caravan. Two people died after an Alkan Air Cessna 208 Caravan went down near Mayo Lake, Yukon, on Tuesday. (Alkan Air)

The coroner’s service says Lane was a managing partner of the geological consulting firm of Archer, Cathro and Associates. She had been working in the Rackla area.

According to a bio on ATAC Resources Ltd., the company exploring and developing the Rackla Gold Project, Lane worked in mineral exploration, predominantly in the Yukon, since 2006. She had been involved in the Rackla project since 2009. She was appointed vice president of exploration for ATAC in 2015 and had been a partner in Archer, Cathro since 2012.

Representatives from Archer, Cathro and Associates declined to comment.

The Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday investigators will arrive in Mayo to begin investigating the incident on Thursday. It said the RCMP will assist investigators on reaching the remote site.

The Yukon Coroner’s Service says it’s investigating with the Transportation Safety Board, with assistance from the Mayo RCMP detachment.

The plane was en route from Rackla, a mining exploration camp, to the community of Mayo — a distance of about 150 kilometres — when it went down. (CBC)
Condolences from premier

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver offered condolences in a statement on Wednesday.

“We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the pilot and passenger who were on board, as well as Alkan Air and Yukon’s aviation and mining communities, who have suffered an immeasurable loss as a result of this accident,” he said.

Silver said the government will provide the support necessary to help the investigation into the cause of the accident.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Crashed helicopter recovered in Canadian Arctic, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s only aircraft manufacturer loses prototype in Lapland crash, Yle News

Norway: Electric planes could arrive sooner than we think in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Helicopter crash might add power to Russia’s push for new base in Svalbard, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Poor cockpit communication behind fatal plane crash in Arctic Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Man survives being struck by a plane on sea ice north of Alaska, Alaska Public Media

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