Updated: The pilot of a small float plane is uninjured after his aircraft flipped in the water near Golden Gardens around 6:45 this morning.
Witnesses say the pilot was picked up by a nearby boat and taken to Shilshole Marina where he refused medical treatment. The pilot, Roger Collins, told KIRO7 that he was flying to Paine Field from Bremerton when his plane had electrical problems and he lost all controls, including controls of the landing gear. When he tried to land, the wheels on the pontoons caused the plane to flip.
Here’s a video clip shot by a My Ballard reader of the upside down plane being pulled into the dock shortly after the crash. A few hours later, recovery crews pulled the plane from the water (see photos of the recovery operation.)
“He looked like he was going to land and drop someone off to go fishing,” said Mark Smith, who witnessed the crash from the shore (watch interview). “It was so quiet, you could hear the water sliding across the pontoons on the plane,” he said. “You could hear the propeller slapping against the water as the nose tipped down as he stopped.” Smith said the pilot got out of the plane and stood on the struts of the wing. “A boat that had been coming out of the harbor picked him up within a minute. I guess he got his feet wet,” Smith told us.
The plane is now sitting at the end of the dock where it awaits pickup.