There has been several witnesses accounts dating back to late August of a mysterious flying aircraft circling above the Woyenne reserve, and flying very low to the ground.
Former Chief of Lake Babine Nation Wilf Adam told Lakes District News that he spotted the plane in late October from a distance, and was wondering why the plane was so low to the ground. “People have been seeing it and no one knows why it’s so low,” said Adam.
Sau Sau Liu, Tranport Canada senior communications advisor provided Lakes District News with the regulations for required flying heights.
“There are regulations in place governing the minimum flying altitude. Without the specific details of the event and aircraft involved, compliance to regulations is difficult to determine,” said Liu.
“In built-up areas such as the Village of Burns Lake, aircrafts are required to maintain a minimum of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle, unless taking off or landing. In areas that are not considered built-up, aircraft may not be operated at a distance less than 500 feet from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure, unless taking off or landing. A person may operate an aircraft at altitudes and distances less than this in some cases.”
Liu went on to say that if at any time residents suspect that a pilot is operating an aircraft in an unsafe manner and in contravention of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, they’re encourage to record as much information as possible such as date or time.
Bernice Magee, who saw the aircraft around the same time, also spoke to Lakes District News about what she witnessed. “I saw the airplane once, some time between Oct. 20 and Oct. 24. My husband told me it looked like a Cessna 185,” said Magee.
Xandria Van Tine and her mother were able to catch the aircraft on camera on Oct. 18.
According to a Torsten Stuerzl, a spokesperson for Transport Canada, there are no Cessna 185 aircrafts in the government fleet, and they have no reports of any kind of government testing or study taking place during the time period when the aircraft has be seen. “If the aircraft was float equipped then it’s possible that it was either on approach to land on a lake nearby, or has departed from a lake,” Stuerzl said.
Another local woman named Rosalie Macdonald also saw the aircraft back in August, and her account is consistent with Stuerzl’s approximation.
“To me, it looked like one of those planes that lands on water,” Macdonald said.
Cessna 185 aircrafts have the capability to be configured with several types of landing gear, including floats or amphibious floats.