Yukon mourns father and son killed in plane crash

Friends and family of Chuck and Shane Buchanan are mourning after the father and son died in a float plane crash last week. The longtime Yukoners are well known in the hunting community.

Friends and family of Chuck and Shane Buchanan are mourning after the father and son died in a float plane crash last week.

The longtime Yukoners are well known in the hunting community.

“People like Chuck and Shane are not made every day,” said Doug Burgis, executive director of the Yukon Outfitters Association.

“The combination of lives and events and circumstances that creates people like that is what we must value, because when we lose people like that we lose tremendous gifts to our community.”

Saskatchewan RCMP have confirmed that Shane and Chuck took off from a small waterway at the Cameron McIntosh regional airport in North Battleford, Saskatchewan at around 10:20 a.m. Thursday.

The small orange and white float plane was in the air less than a minute before crashing to the ground and lighting on fire.

Police, fire and ambulance all responded and the fire was out within 10 minutes.

Shane, the pilot, and his father were confirmed dead at the scene.

The incident is currently being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Saskatchewan’s coroner’s office.

“The community is at a loss, and the family is at a loss,” said Burgis. “Right now the impact of it is starting to set in, and the future will be difficult for the Buchanans, and we’re going to do what we can in the outfitting community to support them.”

Chuck founded the Museum of Yukon Natural History, better known as the Caribou Crossing Trading Post.

The popular attraction was fundamental to establishing Carcross as a tourist destination.

Chuck was also an accomplished taxidermist and artist.

Shane spent his early years on a trapline and went on his first sheep hunt at age five, according to the website for his outfitting company.

Shane ran Moon Lake Outfitters with his wife, Hanna.

He also leaves behind their two young sons.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef was a close friend to the family, and lived with Chuck, his wife Marilyn, and their children Shane and Misty for a time after returning to the Yukon from university.

“Shane and I, we grew up together from a young age and our friendship was forged through our mutual love of the outdoors and hunting,” said Leef. “We spent so much of our life just out in the Yukon wilderness hunting together.”

Since Shane and Chuck’s passing, Leef has heard friends of the family say almost the exact same things about them, he said.

“They helped countless people in our territory grow as individuals, grow as businesspeople, grow as friends. I am just continually hearing right now everyone remarking how there’s only a handful of people truly like that in the territory and when you lose two at once it just creates such a void for people. It’s going to take a lot of years to replace that kind of character that they brought to the Yukon.”

A Facebook page has been set up by friends and family to honour Chuck and Shane’s memory.

“I know both of them lived life absolutely full out,” said Leef. “Every day they worked hard, they played hard, they laughed hard and they loved hard.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

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