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 hasn’t yet caused cancellation of Nanaimo’s Bathtub race or VIEX

Marine festival, agricultural fair organizers taking wait-and-see approach

Nanaimo man arrested after allegedly setting house fire

Firefighters arrived to find mobile home ablaze on Barnes Road in Cedar on Thursday

Column: Good food at farmers’ markets an essential service during pandemic

Local resilience and sustainability are the only lifeline, says columnist

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules starting Saturday, April 4

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Most Read