Back to top

Private airplane last seen in 1987 located

Len Dykhuizen, 55 yrs old (1987)

Search efforts to locate a missing Alberta plane this past September in the Clearwater, BC area, has led to the discovery of a plane last seen in 1987.

On September 18, 2018, Clearwater RCMP were advised that the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre were conducting a search for a missing aircraft from Stony Plain, Alberta, when they came across another plane crash site near Kostal Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

The preliminary investigation indicates that this is a missing plane from Salmon Arm. The white Piper Super Cub plane left Eagle Bay for a fishing trip to McDougall Lake on June 20, 1987. The plane with two souls on board, pilot Ernie G. Whitehead, 78 yrs old at the time, was accompanied by passenger Len Dykhuizen, 55 yrs old. Both men were from Eagle Bay, BC. Extensive searches for this plane had yielded negative results.

Since the discovery of this aircraft, the Clearwater RCMP has been working with the BC Coroners Service and local Search and Rescue technicians in efforts to attend the crash site. Repeated attempts to fly into the area over the past few weeks have not been successful, due weather conditions. The search is set to resume in the Spring.

This area is very remote and there are no roads or trails to access the crash site. The families of both occupants had been advised of the discovery and are aware of the ongoing efforts, says Sgt. Grant Simpson, Clearwater RCMP.

The Clearwater RCMP continues to liaise with both families who have asked that the media and public respect their privacy at this time.