An expert tracker climbs a steep slope to the crash site of a plane which departed Eagle Bay in 1987, never to be seen again until searchers out looking for another missing plane found it in September 2018. (RCMP Image)

Remains of B.C. men confirmed in crashed plane missing for 31 years

Ernie Whitehead and Len Dykhuizen took off from Eagle Bay on a fishing trip, never to be seen again

The remains of two Shuswap men have been identified after the small plane they were travelling in was discovered last fall.

A DNA analysis was used to confirm the remains found in a white Piper Super Cub float plane are those of Ernie Whitehead, 78, and Len Dykhuizen, 55, of Eagle Bay, just north of Salmon Arm.

The pair had left Eagle Bay in the float plane on June 20, 1987, bound for McDougall Lake in a remote and rugged part of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

“RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their family with answers to some long standing questions. This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, Media Relations Officer for the BC RCMP Southeast District.

Read More: Shuswap plane missing since 1987 discovered near Clearwater

Read More: Crystal Mountain to re-open under new name this winter

In early October 2018, the RCMP announced the plane had been discovered by a search and rescue team looking for an unrelated missing aircraft. Efforts to fly into the crash site in the fall of 2018, so the BC Coroners Service could begin their investigation, were frustrated by weather. The police said recovery efforts at the crash site were to resume this spring.

Read More: Spotlight on B.C.: Setting the agenda on key election issues

Read More: Air ambulance called after early morning North Okanagan rollover

“The distinctively old crash site was amongst extremely rugged and very treacherous terrain. The scene, which was not accessible by any roadways or trails, was difficult to reach due to steep inclines and the year-round snow pack,” states Sgt. Grant Simpson, Clearwater RCMP Detachment Commander.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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

Cowichan schools being stymied by outdated student contact info

If you haven’t heard from the school by week’s end, get in touch

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Nanaimo dentists donate 4,000 masks, 25,000 gloves to health-care peers

Nanaimo District Dental Society collects items for front-line workers during COVID-19 pandemic

No laws in B.C. to force businesses to offer refunds, even during a pandemic

Black Press Media talks to Consumer Protection BC on how to navigate during COVID-19

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

Most abiding by COVID-19 rules, back fines, arrests of those who aren’t: poll

But 64 per cent said they’ve personally witnessed people not respecting the measures

Most Read