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Chilliwack's Decades old Mystery

posted by: The Royal Hotel Chilliwack on: January 22, 2020 02:02:00 PM

Roy Brett with his airplane in Powell River
image credit: Westview Flying Club

In 2006 a decades old mystery was solved when the wreckage of a single-engine Canadian made aircraft was discovered hidden by trees on the side of a mountain near Mission, B.C. In addition to finding the missing plane the pilot’s remains were also located near the crash site.

Chilliwack Progress, Nov. 18, 1970

On November 15, 1970 Chilliwack resident Roy Brett left on a solo flight from Powell River to Chilliwack. Although he was an experienced aviator, Brett flew into a bad storm shortly after departing from Powell River and disappeared somewhere between the two locations. After an exhaustive search Roy was declared missing and presumed dead. He never made it back to Chilliwack.

Site of Roy Brett's plane wreckage near Mission.
image credit: Vancouver Province Newspaper

Roy Brett (1897-1970) was born in Dewdney (Maple Ridge) and was just a toddler when he moved with his family to their farm on Prairie Central Road in Chilliwack. It was in his youth that he gained an interest in flying but did not receive his pilot’s licence until 1934.

Seeking a career change in 1943, Roy, along with his wife and children, moved to Powell River and began his logging business. His plane came in handy when parts were needed. Rather than having parts shipped to Powell River via boat, Roy would fly to Vancouver and pick-up them up; a much quicker option.

Roy Brett was instrumental in establishing the Powell River Aero Club. He also formed Powell River Airways and along with other aviation enthusiasts he helped establish and build the airports in both Powell River and Sechelt.

Roy Brett and family re-stablished themselves in Chilliwack in 1962 and became immersed in the aviation field back in his hometown; forming a flying club that spurred the construction of Chilliwack’s airport.

Roy and Beulah Brett’s three daughters, Elaine, Bev and June were also bitten by the flying bug at an early age and were some of the first pilots in Powell River.

Chilliwack Progress, Dec. 2, 1970

Sadly Roy Brett’s final flight was November 15, 1970. 
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