An expert tracker climbs a steep slope to the crash site of a plane which departed Eagle Bay in 1987, never to be seen again until searchers out looking for another missing plane found it in September 2018. (RCMP Image)

An expert tracker climbs a steep slope to the crash site of a plane which departed Eagle Bay in 1987, never to be seen again until searchers out looking for another missing plane found it in September 2018. (RCMP Image)

Remains of B.C. men confirmed in crashed plane missing for 31 years

Ernie Whitehead and Len Dykhuizen took off from Eagle Bay on a fishing trip, never to be seen again

The remains of two Shuswap men have been identified after the small plane they were travelling in was discovered last fall.

A DNA analysis was used to confirm the remains found in a white Piper Super Cub float plane are those of Ernie Whitehead, 78, and Len Dykhuizen, 55, of Eagle Bay, just north of Salmon Arm.

The pair had left Eagle Bay in the float plane on June 20, 1987, bound for McDougall Lake in a remote and rugged part of Wells Gray Provincial Park.

“RCMP are pleased that we have now been able to provide their family with answers to some long standing questions. This discovery ends over three decades of uncertainty,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, Media Relations Officer for the BC RCMP Southeast District.

Read More: Shuswap plane missing since 1987 discovered near Clearwater

Read More: Crystal Mountain to re-open under new name this winter

In early October 2018, the RCMP announced the plane had been discovered by a search and rescue team looking for an unrelated missing aircraft. Efforts to fly into the crash site in the fall of 2018, so the BC Coroners Service could begin their investigation, were frustrated by weather. The police said recovery efforts at the crash site were to resume this spring.

Read More: Spotlight on B.C.: Setting the agenda on key election issues

Read More: Air ambulance called after early morning North Okanagan rollover

“The distinctively old crash site was amongst extremely rugged and very treacherous terrain. 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,” states Sgt. Grant Simpson, Clearwater RCMP Detachment Commander.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)
Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

Social media, including sites like Facebook, play an important role in contemporary society. (Dreamstime/TNS photo)
QUIZ: How much do you know about social behaviour?

Social conventions, including social distancing, are part of living in a society

A sow and her three cubs, reported on social media for several weeks to be living in Princeton, were destroyed by a Conservation Officer Saturday (File photo WildsafeBC - Facebook)
OPINION: Conservation officers don’t kill bears – we do

A mother and three cubs were destroyed recently in a Princeton residential neighbourhood.

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

LeAnne Jakubeit, a prominent Penticton business woman and wife of former Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit, has died after a battle with cancer. Her death was announced Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 on The Grooveyard’s Facebook page. (The Grooveyard / Facebook)
Prominent Penticton businesswoman dies after battle with cancer

LeAnne Jakubeit opened iconic Penticton record store The Grooveyard 30 years ago

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Device found on Walmart parking lot confirmed false: Kelowna RCMP

Banks Road around Walmart was closed off on Nov. 22

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Multiple protesters cited unsubstantiated claims about the virus and the belief that their “rights are being violated” as reasons for their attendance. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘End the lock-down’ protesters hit the streets in Penticton

The group plans to gather every weekend until restrictions have been lifted, organizer says

Most Read