Two men die in Harrison plane crash

Volunteers will visit remote site to remove bodies

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A flight instructor and student are dead, after the Cessna they were flying crashed into a mountain near Harrison Lake Tuesday afternoon.

RCMP say the two men had left Boundary Bay airport in Delta, as part of the Pacific Flying Club.

They were “undertaking the mountainous terrain portion of the student’s flying lessons,” Constable Tracy Wolbeck said Wednesday, but there is no indication yet how the crash happened.

RCMP are still assessing how to bring the bodies out of the remote location, using the assistance of local Search and Rescue volunteers.

On Wednesday morning, one Chilliwack SAR member was heading to the crash site with the RCMP and their helicopter. Neil Brewer with Kent-Harrison SAR said they would be coordinating how to recover the bodies later Wednesday.

RCMP got the call about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday, and the 442 Squadron from Comox CFB was the first crew to visit the wreckage, at about 7 p.m.

Plain wrecks are the responsibility of the Department of National Defense, Brewer said. The Air Force then contacted the RCMP, who began their investigation and contacted local SAR groups, around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

The site is extremely remote, he added.

“It’s about 12 km southwest of the old Tipella airstrip, nine or 10 km from the Spring Creek logging camp and at the south fork of Tipella Creek, at about 4,000 feet (elevation),” Brewer said. “There is nothing up there.”

While a decision hadn’t yet been made, he speculated they would use long-line extraction. SAR won’t bring out the plane, though, as that falls under the National Transportation Safety Board.

“This is really a sad accident and our thoughts are with the family of the victims and the Pacific Flying Club,” said Cst. Wolbeck.  “The Search and Rescue teams have a very difficult task ahead of them today and our thoughts are also with them as they undertake this daunting mission.”

For updates on this story, visit www.ahobserver.com.

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