Saturday, April 06, 2013

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Pilot’s impromptu river landing raises concerns

By Suzanne Laurent
April 06, 2013 8:23 PM

PORTSMOUTH — Diners along the decks downtown got a first-hand look at a small marine drama as a Cessna amphibian/float aircraft landed in the Piscataqua River between the Sarah Mildred Long and Memorial bridges.

According to United States Coast Guard Petty Officer Timothy Hoenig there were two passengers in the plane that was not in any distress.

“They said they were just curious and landed,” Hoenig said. A call to the Coast Guard first came in from Portsmouth police saying a small plane had landed on the other side of the Interstate 95 bridge.

“It then took off and landed again where we found it near the (Moran) tug boats,” Hoenig said.

After determining the plane was not in distress, the Coast Guard escorted the plane east along the river until it could safely take off, headed for Laconia.

“We watched it leave the area with binoculars,” Hoenig said.

Frank Pellegrino of Kittery, Maine, joined others on the deck of Martingale Wharf restaurant to watch the incident.

“It was strange that the plane landed here so close to the shipyard,” he said.

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