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Pilot makes incredible crash-landing near Liard Hot Springs

The scene of last Friday's plane crash as seen from a search and rescue aircraft. Photo supplied by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre
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FORT NELSON, B.C. — A pilot that became incapacitated while flying from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake was able to make a miraculous crash-landing north of Liard Hot Springs last Friday.

A spokesman with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada said that the pilot and lone occupant of a six-seater Cessna U206 Super Skywagon owned by Mackenzie Mountain Aviation Corp. was flying via visual flight rules when he became incapacitated at around 7:45 on Friday evening. The spokesman said that after the aircraft descended, the pilot was able to regain control of his plane and perform an emergency landing after striking several trees. 

The pilot, who was not injured in the emergency landing, was able to activate the plane’s emergency locator beacon and make a call to his company via satellite phone before spending the night inside the plane. Transport Canada spokesman Pierre Manoni said that search and rescue aircraft were dispatched by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria at first light on Saturday morning and were able to rescue the pilot, who was transported to the Fort Nelson Hospital to be checked out.

Sean Holmstead, the owner and chief pilot of Mackenzie Mountain Aviation said that the airplane was damaged during the crash-landing, though the 37-year-old pilot was not injured. Holmstead said that the extent of the damage to the airplane is currently not known, but that a salvage attempt will be made in the near future.

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