Report of missing man leads RCMP to Merritt plane crash

The man’s current condition is unknown

Merritt RCMP found a missing man in a plane wreck on the runway of the Merritt Airport early Monday morning.

According to police, an initial investigation led a frontline officer to the Merritt Airport, where he discovered the wreckage of a small white and green plane on the tarmac shortly after midnight.

Police said the officer located the man trapped inside the aircraft and called the Merritt Fire Department and B.C. Emergency Health Services.

Emergency crews then extricated the pilot, who is in his 60s, and rushed him to the hospital with serious injuries. His current condition is unknown.

The RCMP has notified Transport Canada officials of the incident. RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said the initial call came from a concerned family member who told police he was due to come home but haven’t yet.

“When we arrived at the airport, that was when we found the man trapped inside his plane,” O’Donaghey said.

“The investigation into what factors led to this incident is in its very early stages. RCMP will continue to support Transport Canada who is also investigating.”

The City of Merritt’s chief administrative officer Scott Hildebrand said all they knew was the gentleman was a new resident in the area.

“He just brought his plane in by trailer over the weekend, but we don’t know what happened from there,” Hildebrand said.

He added the airfield is self-managed by the pilots, which means they can come and go whenever they want.

“They can fly in and out whenever they please, they just have to communicate their flights to Nav Canada.”

But according to Nav Canada, they don’t have any information on the man’s flight.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada didn’t immediately return a call from Black Press Media.

If you witnessed the incident, you are asked to contact the Merritt detachment at 250-378-4262.

READ: A look at how Canadian workplaces can prepare for a coronavirus outbreak


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Elk Valley physicians pen letter to the public

The letter, submitted to The Free Press, is signed by over 30 physicians in the Elk Valley

Fernie Women’s Resource Centre continues to meet community needs

The centre will continue to offer their vital community services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Elkford shuts down emergency department

Elkford residents requiring emergency care are now to visit Fernie and Sparwood’s health centres

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

ANKORS East Kootenay details concerns surrounding harm reduction amid COVID-19

Harm reduction providers are having to keep up with rapidly changing situation

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read