On Monday morning of October 10, the 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was tasked by Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Victoria on a search and rescue mission north of Anahim Lake following the report of a plane crash.
The mission developed into a multi-agency response which included aircraft and critical care paramedics from the BC Ambulance Service and four volunteers with Nechako Valley SAR.
The response included a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter and a CC-115 Buffalo from 442 Squadron based at Comox BC, with five SAR Techs involved on the ground during the rescue.
A well-known Saskatchewan mining contractor has died in a plane crash near Anahim Lake, B.C., 560 kilometres southwest of Prince George.
Leonard Banga was piloting his de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver float plane when it crashed 80 kilometres north of the lake Monday morning. Four passengers were airlifted out of the area to hospital.
“It was a huge shock,” said friend Ron Olson. “He was a very dynamic individual.”
The rescue effort was a joint operation between the Canadian Forces 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of Comox and the provincial air ambulance service.
After receiving the call that the plane had gone down, three Search and Rescue techs parachuted into the area. An air ambulance followed soon afterwards.
Banga was declared dead at the scene. The four survivors of the crash were flown out of the area. Two of them were in serious condition.
It’s still not known what caused the crash. The Transportation Safety Board is sending three investigators to the scene.
Banga had recently bought a rural airpark just outside of Saskatoon, and was well-known in the local flying community. The survivors in the plane worked for Banga’s company. Two of the survivors were seriously injured.