On the morning of March 26 none could have foreseen the fatal collision between a Beach 1900 and a moose.
The unsuspecting animal had run out of the bush and onto the run way at the Fort St. James airport just as a plane carrying possible Mt. Milligan investors was about to land. The Northern Thunderbird aircraft was in full reverse (slowing down) with no choice but to land, Svend Neilsen said, RCMP officer on scene.
“The two pilots said they touched down and at the point the moose came up behind a snow bank it was too late to gun the engine again to go back up,” Neilsen said.
The pilots told police the moose looked like it may have taken off but instead stopped right in the middle of the run way. The right side engine hit with such force the engine became unseeded and all the propellers were broken off.
Tom Schaff, part owner of Interior Helicopter, said he was in the hanger and herd the thump.
“We ran out right away and found out quickly they had hit a moose.”
Shannon Beddow, office manager at the FSJ airport said, “There’s never been anything happened like this here before.”
Clean up crews, RCMP and Work Place BC were on scene shortly after the incident but passengers were not questioned by Police.
“In fact by the time we got there the investors had already taken off to Mt. Milligan,” Neilsen said.
The plane managed to stop about 100 meters past the point of contact with the moose.
Noone was injured in the incident besides the moose who inevitably lost its life, and bowels, all over the run way.