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Pilot survives float plane crash on Comox Lake

By Scott Strasser and Ragnar Haagen
(Facebook/Beau Neilsen)

By Scott Strasser and Ragnar Haagen

A crash landing on Comox Lake Wednesday evening damaged a float plane, but could have been much more serious than it was.

Around 5 p.m. on Aug. 16, RCMP received several 911 calls about the crash landing. The pilot had intended to land on the lake after circling overhead for several minutes, but came in too hard. The pilot’s hard landing caused one of the pontoon floats to come off and caused the plane to do a somersault after skidding on the water.

The pilot, who was the lone occupant in the plane, was able to extract himself from the float plane before it tipped upside down and submerged into the water.

According to video footage captured by witnesses, several boaters rushed to the pilot’s assistance after the incident.

“We thought it was coming in for a pretty good landing, but it hit the water and bounced,” witness Emma Umpleby told CTV. “It just started bouncing, it came up and bounced harder. It landed and started tipping over.”

First responders on the scene included the RCMP and the Cumberland Fire Department.

Const. Rob Gardner said the investigation has been turned over to the Transportation Safety Board.

“The pilot was able to get out on his own and he was checked out by the provincial ambulance service on scene,” Gardner said. “I can’t really say [if] he was all right. He wasn’t taken to hospital. I can’t comment on any injuries or not because I don’t know.”

Cumberland Fire Chief Mike Williamson said there were no fuel or oil leaks into the lake.

More to come…

Video by Beau Neilsen



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