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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Tahsis has raised concerns about the condition of Head Bay Road with the provincial ministry of transportation. (Photo courtesy, Martin Davis)
It’s 2021 and Tahsis still has to fight for good roads

Overuse by logging trucks, safety concerns at blind corners and potholes are still a reality on Head Bay Road that connects Tahsis to Gold River and Highway 28

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Most Read