Delta flight school confirms ties to missing plane as search set to resume on the Fraser River
VANCOUVER -- A staff member at a flight school based in Delta, B.C., has confirmed to CTV News that the search for an overdue plane is tied to the International Flight Centre, a training school based at the airport.
"Unfortunately, yes," is what the staff member told a CTV News journalist Monday when asked if the missing plane was from the school. The journalist was then escorted from the building.
A small plane with two people on board was reported overdue from the Boundary Bay airport on Saturday, just hours after a lone witness reported seeing a small low-flying aircraft crash into the Fraser River near Maple Ridge, prompting a large search.
RCMP say the witness called police around 1 p.m. after seeing a white plane hit the water near 287th Street.
Police, firefighters and search-and-rescue teams spent several hours searching from the water and on shore for any sign of the downed plane as investigators looked for reports of any planes in distress or overdue.
RCMP say a few hours into the search is when they learned of a small plane being reported overdue at Boundary Bay.
"The initial flight plan submitted by the pilot did not take the plane in the vicinity of where it was apparently seen in the water," Cpl. Chris Manseau with the B.C. RCMP said in a statement.
The International Flight Centre website indicates the school specializes in courses for private and commercial pilots, night rating, instrument rating, and private and commercial ground school.
The search for the missing plane continued Sunday, and included a Vancouver Police Marine Unit boat with sonar capabilities and the RCMP dive team.
However, no wreckage or oil slick was discovered.
RCMP are asking people who are near the river to report anything unusual.
"If anybody is in the area and they happen to see debris that may come from this airplane, please contact RCMP or search and rescue immediately," Manseau told CTV News on Sunday.
The families of the two people on board the missing plane have been contacted by police.
The Transportation Safety Board has also been notified.
Ridge Meadows RCMP say they expect the search to continue on Monday, noting weather had impacted the ability to search.