News Plane Crashes — 23 July 2017

Three people were rescued by deputies with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office Lake Patrol when the plane they were in crashed into Lake Travis near Starnes Island Saturday evening, said Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kristen Dark.

It happened at about 5:34 p.m. near the island located just southwest of Volente Beach, said Austin-Travis County EMS.

The TCSO Lake Patrol arrived quickly to the scene and safely removed all three passengers from the single-engine Cessna float plane. Dark said the plane did not sink, but was upside down and was being towed to shore.

It wasn’t the scene Tony Dorsett was expecting when he came to the lake for the day. “But they have it cordoned off, nothing seems to be leaking,” he said, “so everything looks okay.”

“We just looked out and happened to see a bunch of emergency vehicles and realized that it was a plane that had crashed,” Nick Kavanaugh, an employee at nearby U-Flote-M convenience store, said.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Lomas said the pilot of the plane took off with two passengers for a short tour of Austin. The engine lost power and the pilot tried to land again immediately.

News video:

He swerved to miss a boat on the landing and the plane flipped, Lomas said.

“There was actually a lot of boats out today, Kavanaugh said, “so luckily nobody got hurt.”

Of the three people rescued, Lomas said, the two passengers were taken to the hospital. Lake Travis Fire Rescue said only one of them was treated for breathing in some water, the other just went along to the hospital. The pilot was treated at the lake.

“Everybody was safe,” Dorsett said. “That was the best part.”

The plane remained upside-down in the water overnight Saturday. Lomas said it was to preserve the damage for the FAA investigation without causing more by flipping it and pulling it out of the water.

The FAA, which considers the damage to be substantial, planned to inspect the plane Monday.

A plane also crashed into Lake Travis earlier this month. Only a pilot was on that plane, and he escaped without injuries.

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