A scenic flight over the Fraser Valley turned into terror when the small plane crashed at Pitt Meadows Airport Saturday.
A pilot and three passengers onboard the single-engine Cessna remarkably escaped with only scrapes and bruises – and an unbelievable story to tell.
A group of three men, including two brothers, took up an offer for a free flight from a pilot they knew through work.
“It was beautiful. There was no turbulence. We were just kind of cruising along, enjoying the scenery,” Devon Siebenga told CTV News.
But when the pilot got to Pitt Meadows Airport, he tried to execute a manoeuvre known as a “touch-and-go,” where the plane touches the runway before lifting off again.
“By the end of the runway, we weren’t getting the lift and our plane actually went a little sideways,” said Siebenga. “So he had a split second to make a decision whether he would push it or abort the takeoff, and I think he made the right decision in that moment.”
The pilot cut the throttle to the plane, and Siebenga said he realized then that they were in for a crash landing.
“The pilot was starting to go ‘Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. What are we going to do?’” Siebenga said. “The next thing you know, we’re going into the field and I’m just sitting there praying, I’m like “God, just help us, just help us in this moment.’”
The plane then hit a pylon, flipped over onto its roof and stopped in the field.
“We just kind of cordially got out of the plane and felt our legs and kind of chuckled because we were just in utter shock,” he said.
Passenger Brendan Robinson said everyone onboard stayed surprisingly calm in the moment disaster struck – and said he was amazed that everybody walked away relatively unscathed.
“It’s pretty surprising I think. I have a little bit of burns from the seatbelt from hanging upside-down, but that’s it. It’s pretty incredible,” he said.
Though they’re all a bit shaken, the passengers said the ordeal won’t stop them from flying again.