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Plane missing for decades located near Clearwater

It might be months before crews can access the crash site
Wells Gray
(via Google Maps)

A plane that has been missing for more than 30 years was discovered a few weeks ago near Clearwater by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

The registration number on the white Piper Super Cub plane matched that of one that went missing from Eagle Bay on June 20, 1987. Ernie G. Whitehead, 78 years old at the time, and Len Dykhuizen, 55, were on board the flight headed to McDougall Lake on a fishing trip.

However, a more extensive investigation into the plane may have to wait until spring. According to Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson, search crews were out looking for another plane in the area when they came across this one near Kostal Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

"They had to go in from the helicopter; they repelled down and spent only a few minutes at the crash site, took a few photographs and were hoisted back up," says Simpson.

Police, the B.C. Coroners Service and Search and Rescue technicians have not been able to get to the remote crash site yet.

"We have to get in there with several of our partnering agencies and we've been trying to arrange that, but with the change in the weather, it's made that quite difficult. We might have to put it off until next spring," he says.

The RCMP continue to liaise with both families during this process.