Kelowna plane crashes into Mill Creek at YLW

Crews examine the Cessna 172 that crashed into Mill Creek Friday morning. - Wade Paterson/Capital News
Crews examine the Cessna 172 that crashed into Mill Creek Friday morning.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

A student pilot from Carson Air ditched into Mill Creek at Kelowna International Airport Friday morning.

"At about 11:45 a.m. we had a Cessna 172 with a student pilot in training doing touch-and-goes, landing on Runway 16, which is our runway from the north," said airport director Sam Samaddar.

"The aircraft veered off the east edge of the runway and carried on into Mill Creek."

Touch-and-go training involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop, then repeating the process. The exercise is done to practice as many landings as possible in one training session.

The student pilot was treated for minor injuries and taken by ambulance to Kelowna General Hospital.

According to Samaddar, the airplane spilled approximately five gallons of fuel into Mill Creek; however, crews—including a hazardous materials team—put booms into the creek immediately as part of its response.

Mill Creek runs down the outside of the airport runway from Mill Creek Regional Park, just north of the airport in Ellison.

As of 1 p.m., incident commander and platoon captain Dale Calhoun said all concerns relating to the Mill Creek aquatic environment were resolved.

"The detectors that we have in there say it's 95 per cent clean; there's no hydrocarbons or stuff like that," said Calhoun.

"We've put the booms in and (they're) probably about 20 metres from the site. There's nothing that's gone any further."

Samaddar said he was unsure of the age of the pilot. He noted there was no direct communication with the air traffic control tower.

The crash didn't affect commercial flights.

The last incident at the airport occurred in January when a WestJet passenger flight was grounded as one wheel at the nose of the plane slid off the runway in icy conditions.,

Twitter: @PatersonWade @jaswrites


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