Small float plane flips over in Tofino Harbour

A Cessna floatplane carrying four passengers and a pilot flipped over in the waters of Tofino Harbour on Monday.

The five were checked over by medical staff but no one suffered serious injuries.

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Misty Lawson, base manager for Atelo River Air Services of Tofino, said at 11:40 a.m. Monday during takeoff, the plane “hit a large boat wake and prematurely became airborne and it ended up tipping over on its nose.”

“The incident did some damage to the aircraft but luckily no one on board had sustained any serious injuries.”

The pilot is experienced and has more than 10,000 hours of flight time, she said.

“We are just really, really glad that everyone is OK.”

Tofino Fire Chief Brent Baker said the accident happened fairly close to shore. The Canadian Coast Guard station is nearby and the accident occurred in a busy area where about a dozen boats were on hand.

The incident involving the Cessna A185F was reported to the federal transportation safety board, which is currently “assessing and gathering information,” said spokesman Alexandre Fournier.

Everyone in the plane climbed out onto a sandbar, Fournier said.

In mid-June, a float plane stalled over six metres of water near Campbell River and went nose-first into the water, but did not sink. The pilot did not suffer significant injuries.

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