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

Just Posted

Ontario trio fits the bill for 2020 Chemainus Classical Concerts series opener

Sunday performance at St. Michael’s Church in Chemainus features classic pieces

Ucluelet earthquake shakes Duncan

Did you feel it? Earthquakes Canada is confirming an earthquake at 1:35… Continue reading

First Nations land-claim case moves to Duncan for two weeks

Cowichan Tribe elders to be interviewed

Cowichan Tribes buys Genoa Bay Farm

First Nation wants to revert property back to reserve land

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read