Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easton Gilbert SeaRey plane, Richard Bach, N346PE: Accident occurred August 31, 2012 in Friday Harbor, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR12LA385
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 31, 2012 in Friday Harbor, WA
Aircraft: EASTON SEAREY, registration: N346PE
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 31, 2012, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, an Easton SeaRey amphibian amateur-built airplane, N346PE, sustained substantial damage during impact with wires and terrain while landing near Friday Harbor, Washington. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which had originated from Eastsound, Washington, approximately 45 minutes before the accident. A flight plan had not been filed.

A witness stated the he observed the airplane on short final to a private grass airstrip when it struck power line wires. The aircraft nosed over and impacted terrain.

A plane crash should have killed author Richard Bach, but almost five months later he has returned to what he knows best — Jonathan Livingston Seagull. 

Photo Credit:  Sabryna Bach
 Richard Bach has added a fourth section to “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.”

Originally published January 19, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Page modified January 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM 

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter

Nearly five months after he almost died in a plane crash on San Juan Island, author Richard Bach has returned to what he knows best — the inspirational tale of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

The 76-year-old author and longtime pilot is recovering at his Orcas Island home after spending four months in a Seattle hospital with massive brain, chest and spine injuries. Bach says his recovery includes rediscovering simple pleasures, like walking and talking with ease and carving the Christmas turkey.

He credits ex-wife Sabryna Bach with helping ease the difficult time. It was her support, coupled with his brush with death, that prompted Bach to get back to the famous novella that made him one of the world’s most famous authors more than 40 years ago.

Published in 1970, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” told, in three parts, the story of a seagull who refused to conform and longed for a life beyond that of his flock. The book was an international best-seller that inspired legions of fans and a film with a soundtrack by Neil Diamond.

“When it was written there were four parts of the book,” said Bach, explaining the never-completed fourth part.

But Bach recently finished the fourth section of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and mailed it off to his publisher a few weeks ago.

In the new section, the flock struggles to find meaning. They first worship Jonathan, then, as the years pass, he’s written off as a myth. But, eventually, a message of hope comes though when Jonathan returns.

“He’s just there to make things a little more at ease ... like Sabryna,” Bach said.

Sabryna Bach, 42, shies away from any attention. She says Bach’s work on the book has given him the confidence to get his recovery completely on track.

“He saw that his intellect was untouched [by the crash],” she said. “After that he did a 180.”

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Easton SeaRey amphibian amateur-built, N346PE 

Friday, Aug. 31, 2012
Photo provided by the San Juan Islander, authorities examine a plane, piloted by author Richard Bach, that crashed in a field in Friday Harbor, Wash. Bach, the author of the 1970s best-selling novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" among other spiritually oriented writings often rooted in themes of flight, was in serious condition Saturday at Harborview Medical Center. 
(AP Photo/San Juan Islander, Matt Pranger) MANDATORY CREDIT

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Bach's plane was badly damaged in the crash
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