Pilot survives crash

An unidentified man is recuperating in Kelowna General Hospital after surviving a plane crash into the side of Mount Ida near Salmon Arm Friday night.

The pilot, and lone occupant of the Cessna 152, suffered only minor injuries.

John Schutt with Shuswap Search and Rescue, said his organization was called shortly after 9 p.m. to assist in a search for people on board a downed plane.

Schutt said the plane had just taken off from Salmon Arm Airport when something happened, causing it to crash into the east side of Mount Ida.

Searchers, with the assistance of RCMP, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria and a witness, were able to determine the location of the downed plane.

Schutt said a Buffalo aircraft was sent out from Comox to assist in the search.

It dropped flares into the area, located the plane, and helped with communication to get SAR members into the site, said Schutt.

"It was very difficult to get into. The area was heavily treed...very steep terrain," said Schutt.

Six members of Shuswap SAR were able to get to the pilot shortly after midnight. He was still with the plane when rescuers got to him.

"The pilot was all right. He only had minor injuries.

"He was walked into a clearing where a Cormorant from Comox touched down. The pilot was checked over and taken to Kelowna Hospital."

Schutt said rescuers were very pleased to find a patient who was in good condition.

"Considering the crash site, he did very well."

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