The Mackenzie RCMP have now confirmed the death of a pilot after an Ultra-Light aircraft crashed near Mackenzie on Saturday.
Police say it happened at approximately 10:50 a.m. after receiving reports of a small yellow aircraft descending in an uncontrollable manner. The witness added that the plane may have crashed south of the 22 mile campground. The Mackenzie RCMP were able to confirm that an aircraft of this description had taken off from the Mackenzie airport shortly after 9 a.m.
The Mackenzie Search and Rescue Team along with aircrafts with BC CASARA, Canadian Forces Comox Air Squadron and a local helicopter with Conefex Ltd. came in to help assist in the search of the missing plane. Around 3:00pm Saturday, the yellow two-seater plane was located 4 kilometres south of the Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding Station, which is just 10-15 kilometres north of Mackenzie.
The Mackenzie RCMP confirmed the pilot was found dead on arrival and is a 70 year old man from Bear Lake. The next of kin have been notified, but the pilot’s name is not being released at this time. The BC Coroners Service is continuing its investigation.
(See previous stories below)
A pilot has been found dead north of the Mackenzie airport, ending the search for an ultralight aircraft.
Assistant Search Master with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), Lou Dery confirmed to CKPG News around 7 p.m. Saturday night. “The aircraft has been located and the pilot is deceased,” he said. “The ground search and rescue members located the aircraft and the Cormorant Search and Rescue tech crew were lowered down to confirm.”
The exact location north of Mackenzie, along with the identity and sex of the pilot are unknown at this point as the Mackenzie RCMP continue to investigate.
(See previous story below)
The Mackenzie RCMP and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) are involved in a search for an ultralight aircraft.
Cpl. James Fayle with the Mackenzie RCMP says a report of the missing aircraft was received around 10 a.m. Saturday within a couple kilometres of the Mackenzie area. “We’ve got a report of a possible aircraft that may be missing that we’re trying to find – a small yellow ultralight,” he said.
Deputy Zone Commander/Assistant Search Master with CASARA, Lou Dery, says a call came in from someone who witnessed the aircraft in flight just north of the Mackenzie Airport. “A concerned citizen called in and said he saw the aircraft going straight down and they said they heard an impact,” Dery said. “The RCMP and PEP Air (Provincial Emergency Program with the Air Division) are investigating the area and searching for that ultralight aircraft at this time.”
In addition to the PEP Air aircraft on scene, the Cormorant Search & Rescue helicopter from Comox has been dispatched as well to assist in the search.
At this point, Cpl. Fayle says there is no word if a crash has occurred, who the lone pilot of the aircraft may have been, or the aircraft’s exact whereabouts. “We’re looking into that matter at this time, but I don’t have any further information to share at this moment.”
Photo of CASARA logo Courtesy: CASARA