Human remains discovered in September 2018 at the site of an aircraft crash in 1987 have now been identified by the RCMP with the assistance of the BC Coroners Service.
As expected, the remains have been identified as those of pilot Ernie Whitehead, 78, and 55-year-old passenger Len Dykhuizen. Both men were from Eagle Bay.
Search crews from the air found the 1987 wreck in a remote area near Kostal Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park, which is about 90 minutes north of Kamloops. The discovery of the crash site came as crews were searching for a plane that disappeared in September 2018 while flying from Edmonton to Chilliwack. The white Vans RV6 two-seat private plane went down on Sept. 11 somewhere between the two cities and searchers had been focused on the Yellowhead Highway corridor.
The white Piper Supreme Club plane carrying Whitehead and Dykhuizen left Eagle Bay for a fishing trip to McDougall Lake on June 20, 1987.
“The distinctively old crash site was amongst extremely rugged and very treacherous terrain,” Clearwater RCMP Sgt. Grant Simpson said. “The scene, which was not accessible by any roadways or trails, was difficult to reach due to steep inclines and the year round snow pack.”
Police were aided in the investigation by the BC Conservation Service, Emergency Management BC, BC Parks and Yellowhead Helicopters.