Shuswap Search and Rescue member Roger Seyl looks over the damaged Cessna 152, which crashed on the east side of Mt. Ida shortly after 9 p.m. on April 1.
A student pilot surprised his rescuers by walking away from a plane crash on Mt. Ida Friday night.
The Kelowna student was doing his night rating in a rented aircraft, says Shuswap Search and Rescue (SAR) search manager John Schut.
"His flight path was from Salmon Arm, over Armstrong, Fintree to Kelowna but whatever happened to put him into Ida I have no idea," Schut says, noting that shortly after take-off from Salmon Arm Airport the Cessna 152 went down into heavily treed, rocky terrain. "He was climbing up and getting ready to join the flight circuit at 3,000 feet, but his plane was at 2,900 feet."
Shuswap SAR members were called out to look for the downed aircraft on the east side of Mt. Ida at 9:30 p.m. April 1.
Twelve SAR members, along with ambulance, RCMP, fire crews and airport personnel met at a staging area on the southeast end of Salmon Arm.
Using information provided by the pilot via cell phone, search and rescue crews began the long climb to the aircraft.
"The hike in was brutal; It was really thick brush," says Schut noting the aircraft had crashed about two kilometres up the mountain.
"The GPS's weren't working properly because of the huge tree canopy, so a large Buffalo aircraft from Royal Canadian Air Force 19 Wing in Comox was dropping flares (to light the crash site) and our guys were taking compass readings off the flares as they dropped."
Schut says to further complicate matters, the wind picked up so searchers had to zero in on the flares just at the moment they exited the plane.
"At the same time, they (Buffalo crew) were helping our team with communications because we lost radio from command to the searchers," says Schut, noting they were on the opposite sides of a hill.
Search and Rescue ground crews made it to the pilot by 12:09 Saturday morning.
Considering the condition of the badly damaged aircraft, Schut said he is amazed the young pilot, estimated by SAR members to be in his early to mid-20s, suffered only minor injuries and was able to walk to a Cormorant helicopter, also dispatched from Comox.
The helicopter arrived on scene at 12:30 and, after circling around, found a suitable spot to land about 12:45.
"He was very lucid; all he had was a cut lip and a bleeding nose and he might have had a concussion," said Schut. "With that kind of impact, you would expect broken bones, bruising or a fatality. He's very fortunate."
Salmon Arm Airport manager Keith Watson said the local airport is frequently used by pilots seeking their night rating.
"They come here all the time, land and take off again," Watson says, pointing out there are no landing fees for light aircraft. "It's quiet and there are runway lights."
Watson says he is very impressed by the "top-notch" volunteer SAR members.
For his part, Schut says SAR members are grateful to all the emergency personnel and Air Force who helped in the search and retrieval of the young pilot.
Tired but dedicated, SAR members were up early Saturday and hiking the 700 metres of thick brush off a logging road to remove the aircraft's emergency location transmitter, whose constant pinging was still being reported by other aircraft.
Schut is hoping the 25 Shuswap SAR members will get a bit of downtime now.
"We've been extremely busy since December; we have had just as many calls as we would normally have in a year," he said.
An unidentified man is recuperating in Kelowna General Hospital after surviving a plane crash into the side of Mount Ida near Salmon Arm Friday night.
The pilot, and lone occupant of the Cessna 152, suffered only minor injuries.
John Schutt with Shuswap Search and Rescue, said his organization was called shortly after 9 p.m. to assist in a search for people on board a downed plane.
Schutt said the plane had just taken off from Salmon Arm Airport when something happened, causing it to crash into the east side of Mount Ida.
Searchers, with the assistance of RCMP, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Comox and a witness, were able to determine the location of the downed plane.
Schutt said a Buffalo aircraft sent out from Comox to assist in the search.
It dropped flares into the area, located the plane, and helped with communication to get SAR members into the site, said Schutt.
"It was very difficult to get into. The area was heavily treed...very steep terrain," said Schutt.
Six members of Shuswap SAR were able to get to the pilot shortly after midnight. He was still with the plane when rescuers got to him.
"The pilot was all right. He only had minor injuries.
"He was walked into a clearing where a Cormorant aircraft from Joint Rescue in Comox touched down. The pilot was checked over and taken to Kelowna Hospital."
Schutt said rescuers were very pleased to find a patient who was in good condition.
"Considering the crash site, he did very well."
Shuswap SAR rescued a pilot from a downed plane near Salmon Arm early Saturday morning.
The volunteer search and rescue group were called out at 9:16 p.m. Friday, when a Cessna 152 plane went down around Mount Ida.
Search Manager John Schutt says they sent out six members to search for the plane and its lone pilot.
The search team found the pilot to be in good health, and are walking him out to a clearing, where he will be picked up by helicopter and taken to a local hospital.
There is no word yet on how the plane crashed.
Original article can be found here: http://www.cbc.ca
RCMP, Shuswap Search and Rescue and a SAR helicopter are conducting a search Friday night after a report of a downed aircraft in the area of Highway 97B/Auto Road and Shaw Road.
Calls came in at approximately 9:30 p.m. when police, ambulance and fire crews, including Salmon Arm firefighters and members of the Ranchero Fire Department were called to a staging point at Highway 97B/Auto Road. This is relatively close to the location of the Salmon Arm Airport.
Within the hour, a search and rescue helicopter was called in to help pinpoint the location of a crash.
Original article can be found here: http://www.saobserver.net
SALMON ARM, B.C. — A plane has gone down on the west slope of Mount Ida in Salmon Arm and search crews are out trying to find the aircraft.
Shuswap Search and Rescue (SAR) has a joint rescue coordinator in a Buffalo aircraft flying overhead, trying to locate the downed aircraft.
Shuswap SAR wouldn’t comment on how many people were on board.
Original article can be found here: http://cfjctoday.com