Plane makes a surprise landing on the Coquihalla

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters.

The Coquihalla has been called many things, but this weekend a Chilliwack man thought it was good enough to call a runway.

Social media was alive Sunday night with pictures from Coquihalla commuters who witnessed the pilot’s surprise landing on a grassy stretch dividing two lanes of traffic at around 3:30 p.m., near the Coldwater road South of Merritt.

“We just drove past it and noticed someone looking at the plane… assumed it was the pilot,” said Debbie Ross, who snapped a pic that was shared far and wide. She didn’t stop, noting that the pilot looked fine, despite the surprising predicament.

A Ministry of Transportation representative confirmed that the pilot was OK.

“Ministry staff spoke with the pilot, who explained that the plane experienced a mechanical failure, and the cabin began filling with smoke,” said a representative. “He was able to ensure an adequate break in traffic, and landed in an area that allowed him to pull into the median and out of harm’s way.”

RCMP say the man is from Chilliwack and had sent numerous mayday messages that were received by Abbottsford Air Control.

The pilot stated that he had been flying from Chilliwack to Merritt on a leisure trip when he had mechanical difficulties, said Const. Tracy Dunsmore with the Merritt RCMP.

“Worried about power lines and the loss of power in his plane the pilot located a break in traffic flow and was able to touch down safely in the North bound lanes of Hwy 5 and taxi into the median out of danger from traffic,” said Dunsmore.

The aircraft was undamaged and the pilot was uninjured. With detachable wings the aircraft was able to be loaded on a standard trailer and removed from the highway with no incident.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Claire Paradis joins Nakusp Public Library as new library director

Paradis said main goal is getting library back open to the public

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read