October 11, 2018

After 31 Years, Wreckage of Missing Float Plane Found


For the second time in recent weeks, the wreckage of a long-lost float plane has been found in British Columbia without it being the object of a current search. In June of 1987, two men left the southern shore of Shuswap Lake in B.C.’s interior in a Piper Super Cub float plane bound for a remote lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park. They were never heard from again.

Late last month, while searching for the RV6 that went missing on September 11 on a flight between the Edmonton area and Chilliwack in B.C.’s Upper Fraser Valley, crews spotted the Piper wreckage near Kostal Lake, just south of their destination of McDougall Lake, both within park boundaries.

Pilot Ernie Whitehead, 78, and passenger Len Dykhuizen, 55, left the small lakeside community of Eagle Bay on a fishing expedition. Extensive searches that were undertaken at the time the aircraft and its passengers went missing 31 years ago ended with no clues.

SAR crews have been lowered to the crash site in order to positively identify the aircraft. Next of kin were then tracked down and notified before the RCMP released the news this week. Due to the fast approaching winter conditions, recovery efforts are being put off until spring. “This area is very remote and there are no roads or trails to access the crash site,” said Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson.