Dr. Bill Phipps of Campbell River pilots his aerobatic biplane during the 2005 airshow at CFB Comox. Dr. Phipps suffered serious injuries on Saturday when his plane crashed during the Nanaimo Airshow.

Campbell River Pilot injured after Nanaimo airport crash

Dr. Bill Phipps, 71, is listed in stable condition after his stunt plane crashed during an airshow at the Nanaimo airport Saturday.

Dr. Bill Phipps, 71, is listed in stable condition after his stunt plane crashed during an airshow at the Nanaimo airport Saturday.

Dr. Phipps suffered significant facial and internal injuries as well as broken bones after his plane nose-dived into the ground during his eight minute opening performance at the Wings and Wheel event and was taken to Victoria Hospital.

Hundreds of people had gathered for the first air show hosted at the Nanaimo airport in three years, when the tragedy unfolded. Out of respect for the family, the rest of the airshow was cancelled and airport authority closed the airport to all incoming and outgoing air traffic.

According to Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokeperson, the plane was destroyed on impact and no other else was injured or involved.

“The BC Ambulance as well as Cranberry Fire and Rescue were quickly on scene and were able to remove the male from the carnage,” he said. “ Transport Canada is assuming the lead role in this investigation and the RCMP will be assisting.”

Nanaimo Flying Club President Barbara Riddy said the pilot had just undergone a medical exam before the show and was in peak condition before taking to the sky.

“For them to perform, they have to produce a valid medical certificate, and the medicals that Transport Canada gives you are quite rigorous,” she said.

Riddy didn’t divulge any name  but said the pilot is an experienced, well-known performer whose airman-ship is second to none, and that age would not have played a factor in Saturday’s crash.

“He’s a rock-solid performer,” she said.

The Nanaimo Flying Club is now considering whether it will continue to hold the airshow annually or every two years.

“There’s a lot of paperwork you have to do with Transport Canada, people don’t realize how much work is involved,” she said.

Riddy thanked spectators for their patience and understanding during the tragic ordeal.

“The public was super,” she said. “There was nobody that went beyond the barriers, they all listened and were understanding when the show was cancelled.”

Just Posted

Confusion in Campbell River on first day of cannabis legalization

Some users puzzled as dispensaries close just before pot becomes legal across Canada

Aquaman star spotted around Campbell River as production ramps up on See

Jason Momoa, best known for his role in Game of Thrones, is in town to film television series

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Man injured in Vancouver Island racetrack accident meets, holds son for first time

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Campbell River school enrolment up over projections

End of September count finds 65 more students in the system

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

Most Read