Campbell River pilot goes down west of Okanagan Lake

Residents and emergency crews were scrambling after a plane went down in the hills west of Okanagan Lake.

At about 6:45 p.m. Monday, the RCMP received a report of a float plane crashing in the Six Mile Creek area off Westside Road.

“Residents in the area heard the crash and started looking before crews even got there,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

Besides the RCMP, the response team also included the Okanagan Indian Band Fire Department, the B.C. Ambulance Service, the Wildfire Management Branch and Vernon Search and Rescue members.

Accessing the area off Six Mile Creek Road was extremely challenging.

“It’s pretty ugly — heavily forested and steep,” said Leigh Pearson, with Vernon Search and Rescue.

The plane was located just before 8 p.m.

“The individual (pilot) was very fortunate because the plane came down in a wooded area,” said Molendyk.

“He was able to walk away from the scene and was taken to hospital for treatment.”

The extent of the injuries are not known.

The plane’s wings and tail were ripped off during impact.

“It’s hanging up in the trees,” said Pearson, adding that the pilot was able to get out of the downed aircraft on his own.

“He’s pretty lucky. He should be buying lottery tickets.”

The pilot is 52-years-old and from Campbell River.

It’s believed he was attempting to land on Okanagan Lake, after flying in from northern Alberta, when the engine stopped.

It’s undetermined if the Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

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