Air crash sends pilot to hospital, cancels show

A single-plane crash during an air show at the Nanaimo Airport Saturday has left a male with life threatening injuries and forced the cancellation of the show.

Hundreds of people had gathered for the Wings and Wheels air show when a biplane, piloted by a 71-year-old man from Vancouver Island, nose-dived into a grassy section off the east side of the tarmac. The pilot was six minutes into an eight-minute routine.

B.C. Ambulance as well as Cranberry Fire and Rescue personnel were on scene and removed the victim from the wreckage.

The pilot suffered significant facial and internal injuries as well as broken bones. He was originally to be airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital but was redirected to Victoria hospital.

The plane was destroyed upon impact and no other people were injured. Authorities closed the airport to all incoming and outgoing air traffic.

“The Nanaimo Airport decided out of respect to the pilot and his family to cancel the remainder of the show,” said  Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “Transport Canada is assuming the lead role in this investigation and the RCMP will be assisting.”