Virtika's David Lesh Survives Half Moon Bay Plane Crash

22 Août, 2019, 02:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pilot and passenger uninjured after their plane crashes into bay off California coast

KTVU's Jana Katsuyama spoke with David Lesh, the pilot of the downed plane, who said he was flying his aircraft with a friend.

Two people were on board a small plane when it went down in the waters off Half Moon Bay Harbor in California. The plane began suddenly descending. "We were totally fine", Lesh described to ABC7's Amanda del Castillo.

The friend in the other plane, whom NBC Bay Area identified as Owen Leipelt, told the station he circled the area and radioed air traffic control without knowing whether the two people in the plane were hurt.

The plane had avoided any serious impact by skipping on the water a few times before settling in to sinking, ABC7 News reports. "I grabbed my phone, grabbed some stuff to float with and we stood on the wing as long as the plane was floating which was probably 30 seconds or 40 seconds".

At one point his friend was flying above them and called for help. "I had been circling and I couldn't see them anymore, and David called me on the phone as he was bobbing in the water".

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Lesh and his friend were doing an air-to-air photoshoot of Lesh's new Beechcraft aircraft when the plane went down, according to San Francisco's ABC television station, KGO-TV.

Lesh said the ordeal has left him with no reservations about flying in the future.

"What was truly awesome about tonight was there was another aircraft on scene that quickly responded, contacted air traffic control who knew to contact airborne Coast Guard asset and get us on scene quickly", said Lt. Commander Joshua Murphy. "I'm holding onto my window shade as a floatation device".

Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Murphy, from the U.S. Coast Guard, said a rescue helicopter was already in the area on a training mission. The video then cuts to a Coast Guard helicopter coming to their rescue and winching them up to safety. The cold, but calm duo refused medical treatment, but were airlifted to Air Station San Francisco and were then examined by San Francisco International Airport fire department crews.

"Luckily everything worked out well tonight and we were able to get to them within 25 minutes before any actual damage happened to them", said U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mikol Sullivan. "It was really a miracle".


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