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

COVID-19: North Islanders bang pots and pans to honour essential workers

‘Hopefully we can keep it going for them because these people are showing up at work every day for us’

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Juvenile eagle

‘I was able to drive up close to it and get a few pictures without getting out of the truck’

Port Hardy Secondary School’s 2019-2020 wrestling season

Both Lamothe and Speck thanked Cleary for volunteering his time to sponsor the program.

First government licensed cannabis shop on Vancouver Island celebrates one year in business

‘I’m really happy we’re here giving the public what they want’

Fire Chefs give back to community with one free meal a day to those who are in need

Fire Chefs will offer one free meal from 3:30 until 4:30 on the days they are open to those in need.

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read