July 29, 2014 - 10:47 AM
VERNON - A mechanical failure may have sent a float plane crashing into the woods off Westside Road.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says early information is the plane’s engine failed.
Residents in the area heard the plane go down near Six Mile Creek road off the west side of Okanagan Lake around 6:45 p.m. Monday. Emergency crews descended on the scene and began searching the dense woods for the plane. Around 8 p.m. they learned the pilot had walked from the crash site, hurt but not in life-threatening condition. Molendyk says the 52-year-old pilot from Campbell River sustained lacerations to his face and head and was taken to hospital.
“He was flying out of northern Alberta planning on landing on Okanagan Lake to visit a friend,” Molendyk says.
The plane’s wings were snapped off when it hit the trees and Molendyk says the damage is extensive.
Bill Yearwood with the Transportation Safety Board says they are currently gathering data on the crash and will interview the pilot to find out what happened. He says a mechanical failure is possible, though not confirmed.
"The time of day was daylight, the weather conditions were apparently good in the area, so that leaves some mechanical malfunction as an area we have to look at," Yearwood says.
B.C. Wildfire officials were called in case the the crash sparked a fire, but their services were not needed.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014