VICTORIA — Police say rescue crews found the wreckage of an aircraft reported overdue for its arrival at Courtenay, B.C.
The RCMP says in a statement Sunday the wreckage was found near Sydney Inlet Provincial Park, located about 10 kilometres northwest of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The aircraft was scheduled to land at Courtenay Airpark on Saturday afternoon but never arrived.
The Comox Valley RCMP contacted the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre and search and rescue crews from the Comox 442 Squadron found the crash site Sunday.
The RCMP says its members have not yet been able to attend the scene because of the geographic remoteness of the crash site.
The force says it cannot provide further details about the number of people on board the airplane or the type of aircraft involved in the crash.
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/r ... spartandhp
https://globalnews.ca/news/6331567/como ... ane-crash/
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/p ... spartandhp
The pilot killed in a plane crash near Tofino was an air force veteran who flew a specially modified aircraft on contract for a U.S. scientific agency.
Heinz (Hal) Schulz had a contract with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to collect air samples at high altitudes, said his friend Darwin Dzuba, a board member at Courtenay Airpark.
“He had an aircraft specially modified with oxygen,” Dzuba said Monday from Courtenay Airpark. “He would fly out about once a month over to the Pacific, where he would climb to about 18,000 feet.
“He would take high-altitude air samples, bring them back and ship them off to NOAA.”
B.C. Coroners Service spokesman Andy Watson said the lone fatality in the Saturday crash was a man in his 70s from the Comox Valley, but did not reveal his name.
A search-and-rescue crew working on the ground found the crash site about 9 a.m. on Sunday in Sydney Inlet Provincial Park, northwest of Tofino.
Comox Valley RCMP were originally told Saturday about 4 p.m. that the plane was late. It was scheduled to land about 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Courtenay.
Dean Campbell, spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, said that investigators had not been able to reach the remote crash site yet.
Dzuba said he was sitting in the pilots’ lounge at Courtenay Airpark with a few others on Sunday discussing the fact that Schulz hadn’t shown up. “When you don’t hear anything or somebody doesn’t show up, it’s not necessarily a time for doom and gloom.
“Sometimes, like if the weather comes in behind you, Hal would have gone down to Tofino and landed and maybe spent the night and flown back when the weather cleared.”
That speculation ended when a reporter came into the lounge asking questions about the crashed Cessna 172.
Dzuba said he had known Schulz for about seven or eight years and his friend was a very experienced pilot. He had also spent a career in the air force before retiring.
He said the two kept their planes in neighbouring hangars and talked often over those years, with Schulz making his monthly trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island to gather air samples.
While that area has some of the most challenging flying conditions in Canada, Schulz knew what he was facing, Dzuba said.
“He was probably the most active pilot here at the airport,” Dzuba said. “He flew virtually every day.”
Seems unlikely, and o2 failure doesn't seem necessary either based on what we know.
This accident is certainly a head scratcher...as in, it's pretty much impossible to do the flight he was doing at that time in that plane, unless there's some info missing (which is certainly possible).
180 horse 172 will do 18,000, but beats me why he wouldn't use something turbocharged.
More of an issue was the weather....ceiling 8000ft at 11am, dropping to 5000ft by 11:17, tops at 12000ft, FRQ TCU, ISOLD CBs, apparently on a VFR flight itinerary. Something doesn't quite add up here.
Cheap Insurance for high altitude work in C172 .
Pressurized O2 is the only O2 system I would trust at those heights in an unpressurized plane / suit helmet .
Going near CBs without radar is like playing Russian roulette with a 1911 browning 45 or a glock 9mm.
Wind direction around local weather systems can vary and a developing cb can suck air across a ridge creating a tumbling river air effect that might be fun in an extra 300 acrobatic aircraft if you like a good fight. I doubt a C172 would be much fun fighting mountain effect winds around a CB .
Although I would check the date on the CO 2 detector as clue one.