The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released its final report on a strange plane crash that killed two wanted criminals and two pilots earlier this year near Sioux Lookout.

On May 1, the Sioux Lookout OPP reported that four people had lost their lives after an airplane crashed between Ignace and Sioux Lookout between April 29 and 30. Investigations revealed that the plane was headed for Marathon after leaving the Dryden Regional Airport.

On May 3, after the release of the victims’ identities, Q104, KenoraOnline and DrydenNow broke the story that one of the men – Gene Karl Lahrkamp of Kincardine, ON – was wanted for murder by police in British Columbia.

Lahrkamp was one of two men wanted in connection with the shooting death of 32-year-old Jimi Sandhu in Rawai, Phucket in February, 2022. A $100,000 reward was issued for the arrest of the former Canadian Armed Forces Member just four days before the crash.

BC’s anti-gang unit then began investigating why Lahrkamp was travelling by a small plane in the Sioux Lookout area with Duncan Bailey, 37, Abhinav Handa, 26, and Hankun Hong, 27, all of BC.

By May 5, British Columbia police confirmed to Q104 that a warrant was also issued for Duncan Bailey of Kamloops, as he was wanted on murder and conspiracy charges after allegedly plotting to kill Mir Aali Hussain in October of 2020. His warrant was issued three days before the crash.

Police have never explained why the two criminals were in the region.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s initial investigation found that Handa and Hong were the pilots of the downed Piper PA-28 aircraft, but they did not have a valid Air Operator Certificate at the time of the crash.

Now, the TSB’s final investigation has revealed that the craft was 170 lbs overweight and went down after striking trees in a heavily wooded area southeast of Sioux Lookout. The plane’s engines were operating normally, and staff noted the crash was likely due to the pilot’s inexperience flying at night.

This is the third plane crash that Northwestern Ontario has seen this year, all involving fatalities.

The Kenora OPP and the Transportation Safety Board say they’re still investigating a plane crash on Lake of the Woods that took place in September. One person was found deceased with wreckage near Shore Island.

In May, Sandy Lake First Nation reported that one person had passed away after a floatplane incident. No further details have been provided by the community, TSB or OPP.