First responders were on-site at the scene of a small plane crash on a rural property in the Blenkinsop valley Tuesday morning.
Early reports said a Cessna 172 plane in distress went down at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. The plane, which landed on a farm at the end of Beckwith Avenue in Saanich, was upside down on its roof in a field next to rows of blueberry bushes.
Saanich police confirmed two people were aboard the plane and the Saanich Fire Department tweeted that there were no reported injuries at the time.
A spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada confirmed it was a sightseeing flight of one pilot and one passenger that took off from the Victoria International Airport a short period earlier.
— Saanich Fire (@SaanichFire) February 18, 2020
Capt. Charlie Rivers of the Saanich Fire Department said initially, the most difficult part for crews was to pinpoint where the plane had landed with reports placing it in different spots around Saanich. Working with police and ambulance they were able to find the location and once they arrived, saw the individuals in the plane had self-extricated themselves.
“There was no smoke or flames and from that point we just worked towards securing the scene to make sure we weren’t losing any more fuel,” Rivers said.
From what he heard, Rivers said the plane had an oil leak which may have obscured the occupants’ vision, causing a need for them to land. Rivers said he’s never seen anything like this before in his career.
“Aside from landing on its wheels this is the best-case scenario,” Rivers said. “The occupants walked away, we didn’t have any fluids or anything leaking into the environment.”
All three Saanich fire halls responded to the incident because they did not initially have an exact location and were trying to cover the largest area possible. Rivers said it was challenging to find the site of the crash but they were able to locate it in less than five minutes.
|Initial reports came through that a pilot crashed their plane near Blenkinsop Road and Royal Oak Drive. (Screenshot BC Emergency)|
B.C. Emergency Health Services said they received a call at 8:55 a.m. to an incident involving a small aircraft in Saanich.
Paramedics treated both people on the plane for minor injuries and transported them to the hospital.
“The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has been contacted is aware of the situation. They are currently in the information gathering stage of their investigation,” said Saanich Police Sgt. Damian Kowalewich.
Markings on the plane include the Victoria Flying Club logo and the number C-GINH.