An expert tracker climbs a steep slope to the crash site of a plane which departed Eagle Bay in 1987, never to be seen again until searchers out looking for another missing plane found it in September 2018. (RCMP Image)

Remains of B.C. men confirmed in crashed plane missing for 31 years

Ernie Whitehead and Len Dykhuizen took off from Eagle Bay on a fishing trip, never to be seen again

The remains of two Shuswap men have been identified after the small plane they were travelling in was discovered last fall.

A DNA analysis was used to confirm the remains found in a white Piper Super Cub float plane are those of Ernie Whitehead, 78, and Len Dykhuizen, 55, of Eagle Bay, just north of Salmon Arm.

The pair had left Eagle Bay in the float plane on June 20, 1987, bound for McDougall Lake in a remote and rugged part of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

“RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their family with answers to some long standing questions. This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, Media Relations Officer for the BC RCMP Southeast District.

Read More: Shuswap plane missing since 1987 discovered near Clearwater

Read More: Crystal Mountain to re-open under new name this winter

In early October 2018, the RCMP announced the plane had been discovered by a search and rescue team looking for an unrelated missing aircraft. Efforts to fly into the crash site in the fall of 2018, so the BC Coroners Service could begin their investigation, were frustrated by weather. The police said recovery efforts at the crash site were to resume this spring.

Read More: Spotlight on B.C.: Setting the agenda on key election issues

Read More: Air ambulance called after early morning North Okanagan rollover

“The distinctively old crash site was amongst extremely rugged and very treacherous terrain. The scene, which was not accessible by any roadways or trails, was difficult to reach due to steep inclines and the year-round snow pack,” states Sgt. Grant Simpson, Clearwater RCMP Detachment Commander.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New, compressed natural gas buses hit Greater Victoria streets

12 new buses hitting the road, with a total of 71 to join the fleet by the end of the summer

Scholarship launched to honour three men who died in Sooke River

Sooke School District award will be given annually to a student graduating from EMCS

Camosun College team working to turn Indigenous art into virtual reality

Expert team will scan Victoria Indigenous artist Carey Newman’s work The Witness Blanket

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Cherry Bomb Toys, which houses the National Toy Museum of Canada, has had a rough year

The property that’s home to Cherry Bomb Toys is listed at $2.6 million

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Most Read