AUSTIN (KXAN) — A certified flight instructor reacted to how a pilot handled a rare water landing Thursday into Lady Bird Lake.
“Nobody’s hurt — he did a good job, I think,” Sam Huddle with the Austin Academy of Aviation said.
Texas Parks and Wildlife said one of its Game Warden pilots was involved in the crash. A spokesperson said the plane “had just come out of routine maintenance and the pilot was on a test flight when they reported mechanical issues which forced them to land the plane in Lady Bird Lake.”
Huddle said more often than not, planes can also experience electrical issues or overheat because of temperatures outdoors. The highs Thursday were back to the 100s after a brief break Wednesday, KXAN’s First Warning Weather team reported.
“I know that that’s a consideration that my flight school has been taking, especially midday,” Huddle said. “Probably from 2 to 6 p.m., the engines start acting a little weird because it gets too hot.”
Huddle also said the type of plane involved in the crash is typically safe.
The single-engine plane was removed from the lake, and it will be taken apart by the National Transportation Safety Board to determine what went wrong. Officials said the investigation could take over a year because the plane did not have a black box on board.
The pilot, a man, survived. Austin-Travis County EMS and other officials said he was taken to the hospital with potentially serious injuries after the crash.
KXAN talked to the man who said he helped the pilot out of the lake.
When Nicholas Compton found him, he said the pilot was out of breath and in shock. He said it took about five minutes for him to get the man to shore and that during that time his focus was just getting him to medical services.