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Plane makes emergency landing on Coquihalla Highway

A small airplane made an emergency landing on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt on Sunday afternoon.
A small airplane made an emergency landing on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt on Sunday afternoon. Courtesy: CFJC News | Debra Sharkey

A small airplane made an emergency landing on the Coquihalla Highway Sunday afternoon.

The aircraft touched down south of Merritt on the grass dividing the two lanes.

Debra Sharkey was driving from Vancouver to Kamloops when she witnessed the Mustang II flying low above the highway approximately 10 km south of Merritt.

“I’m watching him come lower, and lower, and lower, and then as I was coming around a corner and coming into a long gradual declining straight stretch I’m seeing him landing in the meridian between the two highways,” she told CFJC news.

Sharkey said she immediately slowed down, pulled over to the shoulder of the highway and called out to the pilot.

“Traffic was a little loud, so I hollered at him and asked him if he was okay and he replied, ‘Yes, I’m fine.’ He was proceeding to get out of his plane and get things together and I said, ‘Well, do you need a ride somewhere?’ And he said, ‘No, I’ve got my cellphone and I’ve got some service. I’ll make a couple of calls. I’m all good. I’m not leaving my plane.'”

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Courtesy: Debbie Willie Ross

The Ministry of Transportation spoke with the pilot, who said his plane experienced a mechanical failure and his cabin was filling with smoke.

During an adequate break in traffic on the highway, the pilot landed in an area that allowed him to pull into the median and out of harm’s way, according to the ministry.

—with files from CFJC News

 

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