First stage of investigation into fatal B.C. plane crash concludes at scene

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KELOWNA, B.C. — Transportation Safety Board investigators are wrapping up their work at the scene of a fatal plane crash in British Columbia that killed former Alberta premier Jim Prentice and three other men.

The board says investigators have collected all the required data from the crash site, about 10 kilometres northeast of the Kelowna airport in B.C.”s Okanagan region.

Wreckage of the four-seat Cessna Citation will now be removed from the wooded area by helicopter and taken to a warehouse for further analysis.

In a news release, the board says some of the work ahead includes reviewing RCMP drone footage of the crash scene, examining the plane”s instruments, sending selected wreckage to its lab in Ottawa, and evaluating plane maintenance and pilot records.

The Cessna crashed last Thursday and investigators have already said it could take as long as a year to determine a cause.

The board has described the investigation as particularly challenging, partly because the aircraft did not carry in-flight data or cockpit voice recorders.

No distress signal was issued before the plane vanished from radar just minutes after takeoff from Kelowna on a flight to Springbank, near Calgary.