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Pilot rescued following ultralight crash

By: Kaitlyn Kozarchuk

Posted: 05/13/2019 2:33 PM

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Manitoba Hydro crews work on the scene of an ultralight aircraft crash near Blumenort on Monday.

KAITLYN KOZARCHUK | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Manitoba Hydro crews work on the scene of an ultralight aircraft crash near Blumenort on Monday.

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The STARS air ambulance rushed to the scene of an ultralight airplane crash east of Blumenort, as emergency crews scrambled to get a pilot down from a tree this morning.

After the ultralight hit a hydro line, Steinbach Deputy Chief Ron Chausse said the fire department’s technical rescue team was called into action. This was the second time the specialized team devoted to entrapment cases has been used.

Les Zeluski, the property owner who witnessed the crash, said it appeared the man was flying too low.

"It might have been a wind gust that pushed him down," said the 55-year-old. "I saw him hammer the power and the ultralight caught the tree."

The pilot had been thrown from the ultralight upon impact and hung on a branch beside the aircraft. Zeluski said the impact nearly threw the man from the tree.

Zeluski and Andreas Villarreal, who was with the property owner, rushed out to the scene. Villarreal said he spoke to the pilot, urging him to stay still.

"I told him, ‘If you move, it will only get worse,’" the 52-year-old said.

Although Chausse couldn’t confirm the extent of the man’s injuries, the pilot was conscious when the emergency crews arrived, which was about 20 minutes after the crash.

Chausse said Transport Canada and Manitoba Hydro were also involved with the rescue. Nearby residents temporarily lost power as a result of the crash.

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