No injuries after plane makes emergency landing near Grande Prairie

A pilot and passenger walked away without injuries after their small plane made an emergency landing in a field north of Grande Prairie, Alta. on Christmas Day.   

Around 6 p.m. the Grande Prairie Airport reported that an airplane had made an emergency landing near Bear Lake, according to deputy fire chief for the County of Grande Prairie Jason Nesbitt.  

STARS air ambulance, the Grande Prairie Fire Department, the county of Grande Prairie Fire Department, RCMP, EMS and a search and rescue team all responded to the call. 

Nesbitt said about 30 firefighters werelooking for the plane and it was found around 6:30 p.m. by STARS. 

He added they found the plane quite quickly after STARS took off, because the airport was able to give them GPS coordinates. 

The occupants were spotted near the Grandview Hutterite Colony walking away from the plane, shining their flashlights through the field. 

Neither person was injured and the plane didn't appear to have been damaged. 

"It's just a really happy ending on Christmas night," said Nesbitt.

Nesbit said the call didn't sound good at the beginning, but it "ended up being a real positive outcome for the evening."

The pilot and passenger were from the United States. They were flying to Alaska, and took a pit stop to fuel up in Grande Prairie, according to Nesbitt. 

Nesbitt said it's not known what caused the engine to stall. 

The pilot managed to land the plane by gliding down to the field.

"They landed safely. No damage to the plane that we're aware of and [they] left it in the field for the night. They did an exceptional job landing the plane."

Their names have not been released.