No survivors in float plane crash on Highway 97C

The plane crashed into heavy brush along the Okanagan Connector near the Brenda Mines site on Sunday night.



There are no survivors from the floatplane that crashed into a heavily wooded area Sunday night near Brenda Mines off the Okanagan Connector.

The  de Havilland Beaver owned and piloted by Colin W. O. Moyes of West Vancouver had two passengers aboard a flight to Pitt Meadows from Kelowna when it hit the ground and burst into flames, shortly before 7 p.m.

According to emergency crews that attended the scene, it appeared as though the pilot was trying to land on the highway, but came just short of that goal.

“The distance from the road was 500 to 750 feet,” said Troy Russell, the West Kelowna fire captain who coordinated the fire response last night.

“You could see the direction of flight– and as bystanders have said –it looked like they made an attempt to do a landing on the highway, but efforts were hindered by the topography.”

The fuselage of the plane was intact, however, as the plane came through the trees a wing was knocked off. Other wreckage was scattered in a 200 square feet radius and flames whipped around the area.

As rescue crews assessed what to do with the plane, Russell’s team attempted to snuff out small fires and hotspots.

“To our advantage, it wasn’t an August fire, but we did have forestry on site, they deployed a working team up to the fire as well,” he said.  “With their expertise, and the conditions there wasn’t a lot of threat as nightfall came.”

As crews worked to mop up the scene, Russell said family members of those who died in the crash arrived.

“For myself and rest of (the crew,) we really felt for the family members, knowing  the nature of what they were dealing with,” he said. “When you’re dealing with a forest fire it’s basically property protection… this was a new dynamic.”

The family were referred to the RCMP, to go through the proper channels moving forward.

Meantime, the Transportation Safety Board has dispatched two investigators to the site, and they’ll be arriving mid morning to assess the wreckage and ascertain the cause of the crash, said board spokesperson Chris Krepski.

That will take some time, Krepski noted, as investigators will have to document and photograph the crash site, investigate flight control and the engine records, and take that information back to a lab for closer analysis.

 

Just Posted

Documentary series features local wineries and restaurants

Quest Out West Wild Food launches Jan. 18

West Kelowna looking at three per cent tax increase

Council grapples with 2018 budget, rejects addition of more cops, firefighters

Tech funding announced for Kelowna post-secondary institutions

UBCO and Okanagan College are getting funding to expand their tech programs

Arbitrated settlement for Kelowna jail guards

Details of arbitration settlement in contract dispute not released

Kelowna art exhibition showcases connection to environment

The opening of Blue Renew – art:debris is Jan. 18

The snow capped hills around Carr’s Landing

Andre Paris has posted another drone video showcasing Lake Country’s beauty

UPDATE: Highway reopened following fatal crash south of Armstrong

Highway 97A crash south of Pleasant Valley cross road near Spallumcheen claims a life

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Waters: For Trump words speak louder than actions

U.S. president’s first year in office marked more by what he said than what he did

Most Read