A Self-Defense Forces rescue team Friday discovered the wreckage of a single-engine plane missing for two days in Hokkaido and both men on board were confirmed killed, police said.
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said the SDF team found the plane in a mountainous area in Hokkaido in its aerial search and airlifted the bodies for later confirmation of death at a hospital.
The Cessna TU206G, registered with Nakanihon Air Service Co., was piloted by Isao Hata, 46, with photographer Shoji Furuta, 60, the sole passenger, according to the company and the ministry. Both victims were employees of the firm.
The Cessna disappeared from radar Wednesday morning while flying at an altitude of 670 meters over the southern part of the Oshima Peninsula in Hokkaido, according to the transport ministry.
The plane was en route from Niigata airport to Okadama airport in Sapporo. The police said earlier GPS data from the pilot’s mobile phone was transmitted from a mountainous area near the town of Shiriuchi after contact was lost.
On Wednesday, several residents of the town reported seeing a small white plane flying low over the town, the police said, adding that one reported hearing a hard thud after seeing a small aircraft. Rescue and search operations were suspended Thursday because of bad weather.
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