Friday, September 23, 2011

Cessna 182 Lands in Water a Mile Short of the Runway. Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport (KFHB), Florida.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -- The plane that ditched in the Intracoastal Waterway was returning from dropping off some skydivers -- including the plane's owner -- when its engine failed.

Darren Lewis owns Skydive Amelia Island, and he and others had jumped out of his 1959 Cessna 182, leaving pilot Timothy Bishop behind to take the plane back to the Fernandina Beach Airport.

Bishop said the engine -- which only had about 200 hours on it -- failed as he began his approach, so he had to make a choice.

He could try to glide to the airport, but the terminal part of the flight path included woods with 60-foot trees, so instead he chose the water.

He made a successful crash landing in the water a few hundred yards south of the Shave Bridge (A1A), where two workers under the bridge saw the whole thing.

The workers got in their boat and sped to the crash site, where they found Bishop swimming away from the sinking plane, which settled in about 20 feet of water, according to Lewis.

Bishop was not only uninjured, but Lewis said he expects him to be flying a different plane filled with skydivers on their next run...tomorrow.

Lewis said he plans to get his plane back from the murky depths as soon as possible.

First Coast News

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