British Columbia

Pilot, 2 passengers on plane missing near Vancouver's North Shore found alive

The three people aboard a small plane that went missing north of Vancouver on Sunday have been found alive thanks to the help of snowmobilers who spotted the aircraft on a glacier.

Aircraft, passengers 'in fairly good shape' after snowmobilers spot plane on Pemberton Ice Field

A small white plane is barely discernible against the glacier on B.C.'s Pemberton Ice Field. The pilot and two passengers were rescued Monday after the plane, which had gone missing Sunday, landed on the glacier. (Royal Canadian Air Force)

The three people aboard a small plane that went missing north of Vancouver on Sunday have been found alive after the pilot was forced to land on a glacier — the Pemberton Ice Field, about 15 kilometres northwest of Callaghan Lake. 

​"It's a very great outcome," said Capt. Gregory Clark with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Victoria. 

"We're very fortunate to have found this aircraft in fairly good shape, and to have found three survivors and bring them home to their families."

Clark said the aircraft had been spotted on Sunday by snowmobilers, leading to the rescue Monday evening.

He said the passengers had left a note in the aircraft and taken refuge in the valley. 

"By all accounts, minus a bit of dehydration, and a bit of wear and tear from spending the night [outdoors], they're in pretty good shape," Clark said.

Clark wasn't able to comment on the circumstances that led to the emergency landing, adding the Transportation Safety Board will investigate. 

Reported overdue on Sunday

The single-engine plane was reported overdue at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

It went missing somewhere between Indian Arm on Vancouver's North Shore and Pemberton, B.C.

Earlier in the day, Clark said there was no flight plan filed, but officials believe they planned to fly from Pitt Meadows to Pemberton on Sunday morning and return to the Lower Mainland around noon.

A Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopter and a Buffalo plane searched a rugged and remote 100-kilometre stretch between Indian Arm and Pemberton through the night. The search continued Monday morning.

With files from The Canadian Press