Two men, one woman killed in plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C.: coroner

GABRIOLA ISLAND, B.C. — Authorities say two men and one woman died in a plane crash on Gabriola Island, B.C., on Tuesday after the pilot reported an equipment problem.

The BC Coroners Service says it has identified one of the three deceased as a man in his 60s from Mill Bay, B.C., while it’s still working to confirm the identities of the other man and woman.

Friends have said charter pilot Alex Bahlsen was among those killed, describing him as a very good friend and grandfather who lived with his wife in Mill Bay.

Transport Canada also says there were three fatalities in the crash of the privately registered Piper plane flying from Bishop, Calif., to Nanaimo, B.C.

The agency reported the information on Friday in its Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System, which it says contains preliminary, unsubstantiated data that can change.

The entry in the system says the operator reported an equipment issue and deviated from the approach before dropping off radar.

First responders received reports of a possible plane crash on the small island, just east of Nanaimo, shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The coroners’ service says confirming identification of the man and woman killed is subject to post-mortem testing results and other investigative work.

It also continues to investigate the circumstances that led to the deaths.

The service adds it won’t release the names of the deceased in order to protect their privacy.

Friends have said Bahlsen was born in Germany and moved to Cayley, Alta., 30 years ago before relocating to Mill Bay about a year ago.

“He was a kind, caring, very intelligent, adventurous and fun guy — very talented,” said his friend Rasmus Rydstrom-Poulsen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 13, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Province should set mask policy, says city councillor

Digital conference will raise issues of local concern

Education taxes, ambulance dispatch concern Red Deer city councillors at AUMA meeting

The digital convention will raise issues of local concern

High school’s student’s anti-racism video offers hope

Jose Jordan got dozens of high school students to participate

Trail closed near Red Deer water treatment plant until Nov. 1

Construction on intake in river continuing

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Most Read