Hope is fading that a missing Transwest Air pilot involved in a plane crash in the Northwest Territories last week will be found alive.

The pilot was flying a Turbo Single Otter from Scott Lake in northern Saskatchewan to Ivanhoe Lake.

The plane was reported overdue four hours after leaving Scott Lake Lodge Thursday evening.

A Hercules aircraft spotted the partially-submerged plane in an unnamed lake just north of 60 at about 3 a.m. Friday — but there was no sign of the pilot.

Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Hildebrand says the plane was badly damaged:

“The aircraft went into the lake at a steep angle and there are a number of pieces broken off of it — and that’s been hampering the efforts, I understand, of the RCMP to search in the aircraft for the pilot.”

When asked if he thought there was hope the pilot might still be alive, Hildebrand had this to say:

“Well, let’s just say that this happened late on Thursday, and the pilot still hasn’t been located.”

Hildebrand says weather conditions in the area were fairly clear at the time of the crash.

The crash site is about 80 kilometres north of Stony Rapids.

RCMP are leading the investigation.