Crashed Piper aircraft causes stir in tiny community on Chignecto Bay

·3 min read
Walter Read came across a downed Piper aircraft when out for a drive with his daughters looking for deer near Rockport, N.B. (Walter Read - image credit)
Walter Read came across a downed Piper aircraft when out for a drive with his daughters looking for deer near Rockport, N.B. (Walter Read - image credit)

People in the Rockport area near the Nova Scotia border were surprised last weekend to discover a small aircraft crashed in the woods.

Walter Read happened upon the wreck, while driving around with his daughters Mackynlee and Laikynn looking for deer.

His dad owns land in the area and they often go there hunting or "roaming around."

They had driven down a woods road and just crested a hill when the aircraft came into view.

He immediately called his father to find out if he knew anything about it.

He'd been cutting wood nearby recently, but hadn't seen anything.

Walter Read was surprised to find the empty plane beside a back road near Sackville.
Walter Read was surprised to find the empty plane beside a back road near Sackville. (Walter Read)

Read was intrigued.

"Everybody in Rockport should have known about an airplane down," he said. "It's kind of big news for there."

He asked the children to stay in the vehicle and walked over for a closer look.

No one was inside.

His phone was almost dead because the poor service in the area had drained its battery. But he was able to make a call to his wife and asked her to see if she could find anything out from the Moncton airport.

Alana Best had trouble getting a hold of anyone at the airport or with the local RCMP so she ended up calling 9-1-1.

She told the operator she "didn't know if it happened this morning or a long time ago" and provided coordinates of the crash site.

The Sackville Fire Department had already been dispatched, along with Ambulance New Brunswick and police, before she received a call back from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax.

They already knew about the crash. It had been reported in mid-February. They told her two people had been involved, but everyone was ok.

Emergency responders were called down.

Read said he later spoke with the owner of the aircraft.

The crash occurred in February, but no one in the area seemed to know until the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax confirmed it was not recent.
The crash occurred in February, but no one in the area seemed to know until the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax confirmed it was not recent.(Walter Read)

"He told me he just had a rough landing coming in - hit kind of hard."

"It was all snow at the time. He couldn't really tell where the road was."

"I guess that helped save him," said Read, "because if he'd landed back a little bit, it could have been a lot worse."

The Piper aircraft looked "decent" but did sustain some damage.

"You could see where one wing hit the ground and it cut a tree off when it came in."

"The front wheel was banged up," and there were a few "dings and dents."

But he was able to walk away and caught a ride to town with someone driving by.

2nd emergency landing for plane

"Obviously they weren't from Rockport," said Read, "because somebody would have known about it."

The owner of the airplane didn't return our calls, but according to the Transportation Safety Board the aircraft has made two emergency landings this year.

The first one happened at the end of January in Beaver Brook, Albert County, because of engine failure. No damage to the aircraft was reported.

The crash landing in Rockport happened two weeks later and was attributed to a fuel stoppage.