On Feb. 18, a Cessna 172 plane in distress went down at about 9 a.m. and landed in a rural farm at the end of Beckwith Avenue in Saanich. The two occupants of the plane were uninjured. The pilot was forced to land after the plane’s engine seized. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Vancouver Island man finds propeller from plane crash in grandma’s backyard

Pilot forced to land small plane after propeller came off, engine seized

The propeller of a small plane that was forced to land in a rural Saanich farm two weeks ago was found in a nearby resident’s backyard over the weekend.

Jeremy Francis was walking along the back portion of his grandmother’s property off Glendenning Road in Saanich when he saw an odd-looking object sticking out of the ground. His grandmother had asked him to clear branches off the pathways on the property after some wind storms had hit the area.

“I had no idea at that point that there was a plane crash so I was shocked when I found it,” Francis said. “I was looking for more of the plane.”

Francis said the propeller was about three-quarters of the way in the ground when he found it. He immediately took pictures of it and also contacted the Victoria Flying Club, who said he could dig it up while they were on their way over. Francis said the propeller was quite heavy and estimated it weighed about 60 pounds. He also showed the photo to his grandmother who pulled up stories about the incident on her computer.

READ ALSO: Updated: Sightseeing airplane crashes in Saanich farm

On the morning of Feb. 18, early reports said a Cessna 172 plane in distress went down at about 9 a.m. It landed on a farm at the end of Beckwith Avenue in Saanich and was upside down on its roof. Police at the time said two people were in the plane and there were no serious injuries. The plane has the Victoria Flying Club logo on it and as well as the number C-GINH.

Greg Matte, general manager of the Victoria Flying Club, said the plane was heading northwest and was approaching Mt. Douglas Cross Road, just south of Mount Douglas Golf Course, when the propeller detached from it and the engine seized.

“The plane was basically a glider and the pilot was looking for a place to land,” Matte said. “It wasn’t a crash, it was a forced landing.”

Matte said the pilot of the plane went to the Victoria Flying Club three days after the incident to share his experience so others could learn from him. He even went flying two days after the forced landing.

READ ALSO: Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

“He was outstanding,” Matte said. “He did a really good job.”

The cause for the engine seizure has not yet been determined and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating. Matte said the propeller was a crucial missing piece to the investigation because the plane’s engine mount – which had the engine’s serial number on it – was located on the propeller.

The plane and propeller are now at Victoria International Airport, where the Victoria Flying Club is based.

Francis’ grandmother’s home is located about 1.5 kilometres away from where the plane ended up. He said finding the propeller was shocking and also “humbling.”

“I didn’t realize it would be such an important find,” Francis said.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

small plane crash

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jeremy Francis found the propeller of a small plane that crashed on Feb. 18 in his grandma’s back yard two weeks after the incident. (Courtesy of Jeremy Francis)

Just Posted

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

Scavenger hunt promotes downtown Kelowna businesses

The Great Kelowna Scavenger Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22

No cause for concern: RCMP canine unit training in Kelowna

Officers were spotted in the Landmark District on Thursday

Green candidate making Okanagan stops

Dimitri Lascaris, federal leadership candidate, coming to Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna

Aldo Shoes’ Kelowna store to close permanently

The branch is among those closing as the company restructures to deal with COVID-19 debt

Video: SUV burns alongside the highway near Salmon Arm

Footage of the burning vehicle was posted to Youtube.

Summerland working to reopen recreation facilities

Arena and pool are opening, but ball season will not proceed

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Straight from DeHart

Local realtor reaches milestone anniverary

Algae bloom highlights nutrient concerns in Shuswap water quality report

Shuswap Watershed Council releases 2019 water quality report

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read