Friday, October 06, 2017

Navion Rangemaster H, N2549T: Incident occurred October 05, 2017 in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Aircraft force landed 100 yards off shoreline in mud.

Date: 05-OCT-17
Time: 23:42:00Z
Regis#: N2549T
Aircraft Make: NAVION
Aircraft Model: NAVION
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

A single-engine airplane that made an emergency landing in Bellingham Bay on Thursday has been towed to Squalicum Harbor and lifted out of the water.

On Friday, it sat in a parking lot near Redden Marine Supply on Roeder Avenue as an investigation continued into why the airplane, a Navion Rangemaster, went down off Locust Beach just outside Bellingham city limits.

Bellingham resident J. Allan Snowie, 72, is the registered owner. The retired Canadian Navy and commercial pilot was flying the aircraft Thursday when he reported having engine trouble.

Snowie had hoped to land at Bellingham International Airport but couldn’t make it.

He instead landed safely in 3 to 4 feet of water at nearby Locust Beach around 4:42 p.m. Thursday, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

It was about 200 yards from shore.

Snowie was the only person in the airplane and was uninjured.

Authorities believe a person in a nearby boat brought the pilot to shore.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Snowie couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

Locust Beach is popular with kiteboarders, skimboarders and other beach-goers. It is located below the mouth of the Nooksack River.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The pilot of a single-engine aircraft is okay after engine failure forced him to land in Bellingham Bay.

Aviation expert Jeffrey Lustick says the pilot, who’s not yet been identified, was close to Bellingham International Airport.. but not close enough.

“The tower controller heard this (on the radio) and offered to have the airplane enter the traffic pattern in a speedy fashion. The pilot indicated he was dealing with some engine issues and did not think he could make the airport,” Lustick told KOMO News Radio.

He didn’t.

The plane made a safe landing on a sand bar in Bellingham Bay. The pilot is fine, but the plane is sitting in three-to-four feet of water.

There's no word on what caused the plane’s engine to fail.

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