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The Canadian pilot of a small plane died in a crash while trying to land at St. Clair County International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

The Watford, Ontario, man had been flying in a twin Piper Seneca to the airport, where he kept the plane, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Campau said.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m., the pilot used the instrument landing system through Selfridge Air National Guard Base to say he had missed his approach, then the plane dropped off radar, Campau said.

An airport worker contacted county officials, who broadcast an alert. Authorities and Kimball Township firefighters began searching the area.

About 5:30 p.m., they tracked a signal from the plane’s emergency locator transmitter to a field in a wooded area north of the airport, behind a residence in the 500 block of Allen Road, Campau said.

The pilot — the only person on board — was declared dead at the scene, he said. His name was not released Wednesday night.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and was expected to start an investigation Thursday.

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