By Marcia Love
A pilot is lucky to have only sustained cuts and bruises after the plane he was flying crashed down in a field near Golden Prairie over the weekend.
At about 9 a.m. on Saturday, the crop sprayer lost power, stalled, then crashed down in Tim and Laura Bodvarson’s hay field about 10 miles north of Golden Prairie before catching fire.
The 29-year-old pilot from the United States was spraying Pat Volk and his son Matthew’s land that morning. Sub-contracted by a company in Kindersley, the pilot had just a few days of work left before returning home.
He had only made five passes with Roundup when he encountered problems. Realizing the crash was imminent, the pilot instinctively dumped his load of spray.
According to neighbours who attended the scene, the pilot was thrown from the plane as it crashed down. The plane then caught fire.
The Volks were there when the plane went down and helped the pilot to safety. While awaiting emergency responders, neighbour Lori Herter, who is a casual nurse aide in Medicine Hat, attended to the man who had received minor injuries.
Another neighbour, Arlen Herter, who is a volunteer firefighter, rushed to assist when he heard the plane sputter and crash.
The Golden Prairie Fire Department as well as Maple Creek EMS and RCMP responded, and the pilot received medical treatment on scene.
The pilot was reported to have about six years of flying experience. Transport Canada was notified and no investigation was deemed necessary.
With the pilot’s shirt torn up from the rough landing, Arlen’s wife, Loralee, gave the man a Saskatchewan Roughriders’ T-shirt to wear.
“Told him he was kind of like our team – they’ve crashed this season but are still in the game,” she stated. “Figured he earned this souvenir. It’s not often you walk away from a plane wreck with just bumps, scrapes, bruises.”