News

Update: Coroner identifies couple who died in Okanagan floatplane crash

Update: 11 a.m., May 17

Coroner Mark Coleman was able to identify the two passengers who died aboard the de Havilland Beaver when it crashed into a wooded area Sunday night as Inez and Peter Keate.

Inez, 79 and Peter, 81 died alongside pilot Colin Moyes.

All three were West Vancouver residents.

May 16

The scene of Sunday's floatplane crash near Brenda Mines has been cleared, but it may be months before investigators can offer a reason why it fatally veered off-course.

"The post-crash fire consumed the logs of the aircraft and a lot of the evidence, like control positions etc.," said Bill Yearwood of the Transportation Safety Board.

"But that is not unheard of. From time to time we have to deal with these challenges— it just means it will take longer and we still have to talk to witnesses and find out more information."

As the safety board investigates the cause of the crash, the regional coroner is expected to reveal the identities of the two, yet-unnamed passengers  aboard the plane Thursday morning.

The pilot has already been identified as West Vancouver resident Colin Moyes.

Moyes, 52, had flown the route from Pitt Meadows to Kelowna and back several times with friends and family.

He was expected to be married in the next month, and it's believed that the passengers he died alongside were his future in-laws.

Moyes leaves behind his fiancee, an 11-year-old son, and countless friends in the aviation world, who were rocked by the news of his death.

"Mere words cannot express the incredible sense of loss that the Aviation Community here at Pitt Meadows and across the nation is feeling at this very moment," said   Christopher Georgas, the owner of Pacific Rim Aviation Academy Inc.

"The tragic loss of a loved one and those closest to him came in the spiritual form of a great man, father, partner, husband, relative colleague and a gift to the world.  All of us have been affected and are truly devastated."

The flight left the south side of Okanagan Lake Sunday night and crashed into the hillside adjacent to Highway 97 C, shortly before 7 p.m. Witnesses speculated that Moyes was trying to pilot the plane toward the highway, but it came short of that goal by a couple hundred feet.

During its descent, it was torn apart by trees and burst into flames.

As the investigation into the crash continues the Transportation Safety Board is attempting to gather further information.

Anyone who saw the de Havilland Beaver on its descent into the hillside on Highway 97 C is urged to call the investigator in charge at 604-666-6250.

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