On Feb. 18, a Cessna 172 plane in distress went down at about 9 a.m. and landed in a rural farm at the end of Beckwith Avenue in Saanich. The two occupants of the plane were uninjured. The pilot was forced to land after the plane’s engine seized. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Vancouver Island man finds propeller from plane crash in grandma’s backyard

Pilot forced to land small plane after propeller came off, engine seized

The propeller of a small plane that was forced to land in a rural Saanich farm two weeks ago was found in a nearby resident’s backyard over the weekend.

Jeremy Francis was walking along the back portion of his grandmother’s property off Glendenning Road in Saanich when he saw an odd-looking object sticking out of the ground. His grandmother had asked him to clear branches off the pathways on the property after some wind storms had hit the area.

“I had no idea at that point that there was a plane crash so I was shocked when I found it,” Francis said. “I was looking for more of the plane.”

Francis said the propeller was about three-quarters of the way in the ground when he found it. He immediately took pictures of it and also contacted the Victoria Flying Club, who said he could dig it up while they were on their way over. Francis said the propeller was quite heavy and estimated it weighed about 60 pounds. He also showed the photo to his grandmother who pulled up stories about the incident on her computer.

READ ALSO: Updated: Sightseeing airplane crashes in Saanich farm

On the morning of Feb. 18, early reports said a Cessna 172 plane in distress went down at about 9 a.m. It landed on a farm at the end of Beckwith Avenue in Saanich and was upside down on its roof. Police at the time said two people were in the plane and there were no serious injuries. The plane has the Victoria Flying Club logo on it and as well as the number C-GINH.

Greg Matte, general manager of the Victoria Flying Club, said the plane was heading northwest and was approaching Mt. Douglas Cross Road, just south of Mount Douglas Golf Course, when the propeller detached from it and the engine seized.

“The plane was basically a glider and the pilot was looking for a place to land,” Matte said. “It wasn’t a crash, it was a forced landing.”

Matte said the pilot of the plane went to the Victoria Flying Club three days after the incident to share his experience so others could learn from him. He even went flying two days after the forced landing.

READ ALSO: Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

“He was outstanding,” Matte said. “He did a really good job.”

The cause for the engine seizure has not yet been determined and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating. Matte said the propeller was a crucial missing piece to the investigation because the plane’s engine mount – which had the engine’s serial number on it – was located on the propeller.

The plane and propeller are now at Victoria International Airport, where the Victoria Flying Club is based.

Francis’ grandmother’s home is located about 1.5 kilometres away from where the plane ended up. He said finding the propeller was shocking and also “humbling.”

“I didn’t realize it would be such an important find,” Francis said.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

small plane crash

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

 

Jeremy Francis found the propeller of a small plane that crashed on Feb. 18 in his grandma’s back yard two weeks after the incident. (Courtesy of Jeremy Francis)

Just Posted

Drive-by celebration for Mission couple’s 65th anniversary, 90th birthday

Don and Clara Coubrough watched as family members drove by to say congratulations

Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford

Antonio Fernandez, 29, was last seen on Monday, May 25

LETTER: Support for music and arts industry critical during COVID, says MLA

A Maple Ridge-Mission politician talks about the current state of the entertainment world

Crane truck topples over at Abbotsford courthouse construction site

Nobody injured in incident on Trethewey Street and George Ferguson Way

Board chair says Chilliwack trustee’s censure results from ‘egregious’ breach of ethics

Four forms of reprimand for Barry Neufeld after his Facebook post about Dr. Theresa tam

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

$24M lottery ticket bought in Aldergrove by soon-to-be millionaire

Wednesday night’s Lotto 6/49 draw revealed a ticket worth millions was purchased in Aldergrove

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

B.C.’s labour minister should look at pandemic’s financial carnage amid minimum wage increase

The timing couldn’t be worse for any government decision that drives up costs for business, writes Jock Finlayson

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read