Video: Canadian Pilot Describes Harrowing Glacier Landing

An 81-year-old pilot and his two passengers are safe after an emergency landing on a glacier in British Columbia, Canada. YouTube/CBC News

A pilot in British Columbia managed to get himself and his passengers out of a scary scenario near Whistler after making a wrong turn into a narrow valley that pinned the airplane down with downdrafts and climbing terrain. In this video, Vern Hannah describes how he “jumped” a couple of cliffs, bringing the airplane very close to stall before deciding on making an emergency landing on a glacier.

Hannah was carrying two passengers, Peter Jedynakiewicz and Alan Widelski, in the 1963 Beech 23 Musketeer he was piloting. In an interview with CBC, Jedynakiewicz described the landing as “soft, like on a pillow.” While the glacial snow was soft and one wheel dug in during the touchdown, the airplane remained virtually undamaged. The three occupants were unscathed, and were rescued after spending the night in the mountains. However, Hannah, now 81, who has been flying for decades, said the glacier landing would be his last.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter