American father, two sons among passengers on plane in fatal Labrador crash

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — An American father and his two sons vacationing together in Canada on a fishing getaway were on board the small float plane that crashed into a remote Labrador lake on Monday, The Canadian Press has confirmed.

John Weaver II, 66, of Chicago is among the three men who have been confirmed dead, his wife Linda Weaver said in a brief phone conversation Friday.

The couple’s sons Matthew Weaver, 38 and John Weaver III, 40, are among the four men who are still missing, she said.

She said that the family is “devastated” but holding out hope as the search slowly unfolds.

RCMP divers and other rescuers planned to land Friday at Mistastin Lake, about 100 kilometres southwest of Nain, where the plane’s tail and other debris were spotted in the water early on Tuesday. Efforts to reach the site Thursday were thwarted by bad weather.

A statement by Weaver Consultants Group, a Chicago-based company founded by the elder John Weaver in 1991, described him as “a nationally recognized leader in engineering and environmental service.”

It also noted the younger John Weaver, known as Johnny, of Indiana, was a project manager with the company.

Weaver Consultants Group co-president Doug Dorgan described the company founder as someone defined by his mentorship qualities and his passion for sport and family.

“I will always remember the stories he would share of his adventures, his passion for the sport, and the time he spent with close family and friends,” Dorgan wrote of his friend.

Matthew Weaver lived in Illinois with his wife and five-month-old daughter, the statement read.

As the days since the deadly crash stretch on, authorities have expressed little hope of finding survivors.

Police divers, investigators and search and rescue personnel will pick up where Maritime Forces Atlantic left off on Tuesday evening, after scanning for survivors by air.

The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Gilles Morin of Quebec, confirmed by his employer to have been piloting the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane, remains among the missing.

Jean Tremblay, president of Air Saguenay, the Quebec airline that owns the plane, has described Morin as a safe and experienced pilot who was loved by colleagues and friends.

Tremblay said the plane had recently been inspected and was not close to being due for another one. He said he was at a loss to explain what could have caused the fatal crash.

The plane left Three Rivers Lodge on Crossroads Lake, east of Schefferville, Que., Monday morning for a fishing camp on Mistastin Lake. It did not return as planned that evening.

The RCMP said it is not known whether the plane crashed en route to the camp or during its return.

Robin Reeve, managing partner at Three Rivers Lodge, declined to comment Friday until all the plane’s occupants had been located.

“We’re all praying that they can find everybody,” Reeve said.

The identities of all passengers have not been released, but the RCMP said Friday that two American men in their 60s and a 47-year-old man from Newfoundland and Labrador have been found dead.

Morin, the two Weaver brothers and a 50-year-old man from Newfoundland and Labrador have not yet been found.

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