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.

Just Posted

SD91 trustee election results are in

Several new faces have been elected to the position of school board trustee

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

CFL playoff picture still muddled heading into weekend action

League revealed last week no fewer than 64 potential playoff permutations

New monitoring of vessel noise impact on endangered whales announced

Federal government to monitor underwater ship and mammal noise in B.C.’s Salish Sea

Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, B.C. candidate says

Langley Township council hopeful wants to build one-person foul weather shelters for homeless

‘Violent’ Prince George man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

RCMP say the man has likely made his way to the Lower Mainland or another community

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

UPDATE: American rapper killed in skydiving accident

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Most Read