Fatal plane crash near Bashaw

  • Jun. 8, 2011 7:00 p.m.

BLACK PRESS STAFF

Two brothers from British Columbia died in a plane crash near Bashaw last Friday night, June 3.

Dean and Lee Sorken of Kelowna, B.C. were heading to Killam for a cousin’s wedding when their four person aircraft disappeared from radar on its way from Vernon to Killam. They were reported missing at 11 p.m. on Friday night.

The burning remains of the plane were found Saturday morning at 3:20 a.m., imbedded in a farmer’s field near Boss Hill at the northeast side of Buffalo Lake.

Ben Hofer, who lives near the site of the crash, said he and his neighbours heard an unusual sound just before 11 p.m., The plane was reported to have disappeared from radar at around that time. Bashaw, Killam and Stettler RCMP Detachments were involved in the search for the aircraft after it was reported missing by the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ont.

The RCMP called in to use heavy equipment to excavate the crash site to recover the bodies and extract the wreckage from the farm field.

The RCMP has now turned the site and wreckage over to the Transportation Safety Board to conduct their investigation.

It has been reported the plane appeared to have flown straight into the ground; however, it will be at least a week before Transportation Safety Board investigators will have any kind of picture of what happened, said John Cottreau, public affairs officer for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

“It will take much longer to determine why the airplane, a propeller-driven Mooney M20 with piston powered engine, fell from the sky and appeared to accelerate during its fall,” he said.

Environment Canada reported wind speeds of 21 kilometres per hour with temperatures hovering at about 5C.

“But it will take some time to determine what role, if any, the weather played in the crash,” said Cottreau.

Dean Sorken was founder of Real West, an interior BC company that constructed equestrian facilities and later branched into a line of clothing.

Lee Sorken operated Above and Beyond Aviation, based in Vernon.

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