mi-regina-downtown

Aviation officials scrambled on Thursday when they received an emergency signal. It turned out that a shipment containing an emergency device had been activated as the package made its way through downtown Regina. (Google Street View)

Emergency crews were led on a wild-goose chase Thursday when a shipment containing an airplane emergency transmitter device was activated as the package made its way through downtown Regina.

According to a report by federal aviation officials, the device, known as an ELT, emitted a signal shortly after 7 a.m. CST Thursday.

It triggered an emergency response, dispatched by aviation officials in Winnipeg.

"An extensive communication search failed to locate the signal," officials noted in a report about the incident.

Believing a plane may have crashed, search and rescue aircraft were sent to investigate, one from Regina and another, a military Hercules, from Winnipeg.

The Regina search team was able to trace the signal to downtown Regina.

"The signal was homed to an incoming express post truck with a live, armed ELT inside," officials said in their report. "The shipper was contacted and it was found to belong to an amateur-built aircraft."

According to officials, the owner apparently shipped the ELT via express post without removing the battery.

The report noted that the Regina search plane was in the air for about 45 minutes while the Hercules plane was in the air for just over 30 minutes.

"[The shipper] was informed of the scope of trouble caused," the report noted.