The pilot of the small Beechcraft, single-engine plane that crashed on Highway 97 in Osoyoos on Tuesday is in critical condition in a Vancouver hospital.
The 46-year-old pilot, Todd Lewendon, suffered extensive burns on most of his body police said, however he was able to get himself out of the wreckage after initial reports suggest the plane lost power and attempted an emergency landing on the highway.
Lewendon was the sole occupant of the vehicle which was heading from Oliver to Boundary. While attempting the emergency landing, the aircraft caught its wing on the rear of a semi trailer hitting the ground and sliding into a telephone pole where it plane burst into flames. The investigation has been turned over to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).
“Typically what happens in this case is we decided based on the information we got to deploy to the accident site and take a closer examination at the aircraft and document the accident site,” said Chris Krepski, spokesperson with the TSB. The investigative team will search the remains of the aircraft for any parts of note to send back to either Ottawa or a facility in Richmond for further investigation.
The investigative team will also interview the pilot when he is able to speak as well as witnesses. The team is also gathering information on weather, aircraft maintenance and pilot training records.
“Right now it’s all about gathering information,” Krepski said. “We’re going to asses that information and see what the next steps will be and see whether or not we will conduct a more in-depth investigation into this or not.”
He said the purpose of any TSB investigation is to advance safety. The TSB does not determine civil or criminal liability.