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Pilot killed in plane crash at Buttonville Airport

Last Updated Jul 13, 2018 at 4:37 pm EDT

A small plane has gone down after taking off at Buttonville Airport in Markham. CITYNEWS/Veronica Thor

York police say the pilot of a single plane was killed when it crashed in a field near the Buttonville Airport.

Emergency crews responded to the crash in Markham at around 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Police say the pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pilot has been identified to 680NEWS as Dr. Shehbaz Butt, a physician at the Markham Stouffville Hospital.

The hospital has released a statement offering their condolences to his family.

“Dr. Shehbaz Butt was a physician (anesthetist) at Markham Stouffville Hospital who made a significant contribution to the hospital. He was a highly valued member of the team and we are devastated by the loss. Our condolences go out to his family at this time.”

Insp. Lesley Weller says the crash occurred in an open area just west of the airport, away from any buildings or roads.

The Transportation Safety Board told CityNews the pilot contacted Air Traffic Control shortly after takeoff to tell them there was a problem. The aircraft, which was privately registerd, then made a right-turn to head back to the airport.

At some point, the nose dropped and the airplane made contact with the ground in a field on the southwest side of the airport.

The pilot was fatally injured after a significant post-impact fire.

The TSB is investigating the cause of the crash.