Two occupants found dead after missing aircraft located in British Columbia
A small plane that went missing after departing from Springbank Airport on Thursday morning has been found in British Columbia and the two occupants did not survive.
Officials with the Maritime Force Pacific's joint rescue coordination centre in Victoria, B.C. say the plane took off at 10:00 a.m. and was slated to make a stop in Kelowna before reaching its final destination of Nanaimo.
"Last night (Thursday) we detected a 406 Megahertz emergency locator transmitter and, because it was registered with the Canadian beacon registry, we were able to figure out very quickly which aircraft it was on and that the aircraft was on a flight plan from the Calgary area to Kelowna,” said Major Justin Olsen, officer in charge.
Olsen says unfavourable weather conditions exacerbated the aerial serarch with helicopters and a Buffalo. The aircraft was believed to be in a mountainous area between Merritt and Hope, approximately 170 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, and the search area was approximately two square kilometres The beacon is typically activated by the pilot during an emergency or following a crash.
The aircraft was located Friday afternoon and the two occupants were found dead.
The pilot of the aircraft has been identified as Ken Umbach, a retired geophysicist, who was the owner of the Cessna182 and the passenger has been identified as Dr. Terry Stewart, an anesthesiologist at the Alberta Children's Hospital.
The British Columbia Coroners Service has been notified of the deaths.