Paddleboarders Rescue Pilot After Plane Crashes In Lady Bird Lake
Two paddleboarders were able to rescue the pilot of a plane that crash landed in lady Bird Lake.
A game warden for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had an unexpected outcome after testing flying a plane that had just undergone maintenance.
Plane Crash in Lady Bird Lake
KVUE and the Austin Police Department report that the accident happened around 2pm on Thursday, June 16 when a 2009 Cessna T-206 crashed into Lady Bird Lake in Downtown Austin, Texas, west of I-35.
One person was piloting the Cessna when it went down and was able to escape the cockpit and climb to the top of the plane.
Paddleboarders to The Rescue
Nicholas Compton, who works for Lone Star Kayak Tours, tells FOX7 News that he heard the crash and originally thought it was a car accident from nearby I-35. A group of people who had witnessed the crash told him it was a plane and he immediately grabbed a life jacket and a paddleboard and headed into the lake.
I went out there with a life jacket and sure enough 80 yards away from the paddle shack I saw the plane. I immediately put the life jacket on him, he was pretty incoherent. He was hanging on to our paddleboards and we paddled him in.
According to Austin Travis County EMS, the pilot was taken to a nearby hospital with potentially serious injuries.
Texas Department of Wildlife Department
TPWD said the pilot was performing a test flight following some routine maintenance. The plane was abled to be pulled from Lady Bird Lake at about 7pm that evening.
YouTube user Festus Nord McCrapweasel witnessed most of the crash and had this to say:
I live in that area east of 35 and saw everything but the impact. I saw the plane drop into view, then drop below the tree line, heading straight for the trees and my apartment building behind them. The plane then pulled up and to the right, back over the lake and out of my view.
The pilot did a PHENOMENAL job. And hearing that he came down WEST of 35 makes it even more incredible, considering how out of control the plane was. His actions saved lives - my own included. I'm very thankful he survived and wish him a speedy recovery.
This could have been a lot worse and fortunately nobody else was injured.