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.

Just Posted

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Chilliwack Chiefs get Daniel Chenard back in action

The top goalie in last spring’s RBC Cup missed the first half of the season rehabbing after surgery.

UFV students raise money to keep ‘nicest’ person in Abbotsford

Foreign student struggles to pay for schooling after Trump withdrawal from Iran deal

Jordyn Huitema wins Canada Soccer Youth International Player of the Year award.

The Chilliwack FC grad enjoyed a fantastic season representing her country in international play.

Petition against Bridal Falls gondola floated by Chilliwack man

Some say the gondola could close off a huge swath of recreational area above Bridal Falls

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Most Read