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
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