News Plane incidents — 28 July 2017

BONNER COUNTY, Idaho — A pontoon plane sank in the Pend Orielle River near Priest River on Thursday after an unusually hard landing.

The pilot and their passenger were not hurt, according to the West Pend Orielle Fire Department (WPOD).

“We’ll call it a hard landing that basically, for all intents and purposes, could’ve been a crash landing,” explained Ror Lakewold, from Bonner County Sheriff’s Office. “Due to the wind conditions… and the waves, the pilot in his plane and got a little cattywampus.”

Officials said the FAA would be responding to the scene to take a report, but in the end the FAA was “satisfied with just a phone call.”

“One of the wings tipped into the water and one of the floats got pulled partially off,” said Lakewold. “The plane, once it came to rest, was lifted over.”

WPOD officials said there may have been a few fuel leaks into the river, but nothing they could see as they brought the plane closer to shore.

Bonner County EMS said the call came in just after 11 a.m. on Thursday. BCEMS said the plane, a pontoon plane, was sinking in the river. A Bonner County EMS paramedic and two BCSO deputies accessed the scene off Thama Road in Laclede, according to BCEMS.

The emergency responders were helped by good Samaritans in their private boat to get to the plane, and were able to get the pilot and their passenger to safety.

No one was hurt in the incident.

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