Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Rans S-6S Super Coyote, N39KS: Incident occurred August 07, 2017 in Elcho, Langlade County, Wisconsin

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Aircraft on water landing, landed gear down.

Date: 08-AUG-17
Time: 00:15:00Z
Regis#: N39KS
Aircraft Make: RANS
Aircraft Model: S6S
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

ELCHO - The pilot of a small floatplane made it out of Otter Lake in Elcho unhurt on Monday night.

He crash landed on the water at about 7:30 p.m.

The Langlade County Sheriff's Office believes the pilot didn't retract his landing gear, which is designed for solid-ground landings. When his pontoons hit the water, the landing gear got caught, and the plane flipped upside down.

As of Tuesday, that Rans S-6S plane sat on the shore of Otter Lake. It took a dive, towing, and rescue team to get it there.

"With diving for as long as I have, we've done lots of recoveries on UTVs and ATVs and snowmobiles, and vehicles," said Elcho Assistant Fire Chief Geoff Kupfer. "This was the first aircraft."

Kupfer had been doing a training dive in Antigo and raced to Otter Lake once he heard about the situation.

"Threw my gear in the back, and I threw a tarp on the seat, and I left in a full wetsuit and dive gear and headed back to Elcho," he said.

Kupfer and a local team arrived to find the plane completely upside down in Otter Lake, floating on overturned pontoons. Kupfer called his friend, Jerry Leonard, who owns Leonard Towing and Recovery in Pelican Lake.

"Snowmobiles are pretty easy. Cars can be challenging," Leonard said "The initial challenge is, it's a plane. What do you do?"

Leonard jumped into the water with Kupfer and others. They worked with the help of a fork barge from Pelican Piers in Pelican Lake.

"We tried to figure out how you're going to 'upright' something you don't 'upright' on a daily basis," Leonard said. "We figured out what we could rig to, what we could hook to, without more damage to the plane."

An ATV helped drag the plane to the shore of Otter Lake. It had a wet engine but no structural damage.

"The aircraft stayed in good shape," Kupfer said. "No cosmetic things that you could tell it was really damaged."

The Langlade County Sheriff's Office got in touch with federal investigators after the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wjfw.com

LANGLADE CO., WIS. (WSAW) The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a float plane flipped and started sinking while attempting to land on Otter Lake near Elcho in Langlade County Monday.

Around 7:30 p.m. the Langlade County Sheriff's Office, Elcho first responders and the Oneida County Dive Team responded to the lake after getting a report that a plane flipped and was sinking.

The pilot was the lone occupant of the plane and got out safely. The aircraft involved is a Rans S-6S equipped with floats.

The initial investigation shows that the pilot may have failed to retract landing gear prior to setting down on the water.

The Wisconsin DNR also responded to the scene for the possibility of contaminants in the water, which ended up being a non-issue.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate the incident.


ELCHO, WI (WSAU-WXPR) -- No one was injured Monday evening when a float plane flipped on Otter Lake near Elcho.

The Langlade County Sheriff's Department reported the pilot is thought to have made an error with the landing gear as the plane was about to set  down on the lake.

The pilot was the lone occupant was not injured in the landing. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.


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