Bathroom Break Strands Pilot

A bathroom break on a remote Manitoba lake turned into a search and rescue operation last week. Happy Bednarek, 72, intended to fly his ski-equipped Taylorcraft to meet friends on Sisib Lake but it was socked in. He could see that Pickerel Lake, a few miles to the west, was clear and he landed there instead. After a quick stop to relieve himself, he couldn’t get the engine started again. After 90 minutes he gave up and set up camp. “I dragged my stuff over to the shore and started building a fire. I was there for 52 hours,” Bednarek told the CBC.

Meanwhile his pilot friends had notified search and rescue and a C-130 crew spotted him a couple of days later. When the Herc was overhead, he threw gasoline on the fire and it lit up the night vision goggles of the spotters. A ground party was dispatched but weather cleared enough for search and rescue techs to parachute to the scene. He was treated for dehydration but was otherwise fine. “I had to concentrate pretty good on staying calm,” he told CBC.”Did you ever see that movie Castaway? For some reason that went through my mind.”