For anyone driving across the Jibboom Street Bridge over the American River near Discovery Park in Sacramento this week, you may have seen a partially sunken airplane in the water. It was the byproduct of a seaplane crash that sent the pilot and passenger to the hospital on Wednesday. The pilot is stable while the passenger remains in critical condition at UC Davis Medical Center.
The aircraft’s pilot was attempting a “touch-and-go” landing on the river when one of the wheels failed to retract during the water landing, causing the plane to tumble into the water. No mayday signal was released because he was attempting the maneuver and the crash was a surprise accident.
The pilot was able to escape the sunken plane while first responder divers had to extract the passenger, who had significant injuries. Officials were able to move the crashed plane near the shore and extract it using a winch from a Ford F-350. The cost of recovering the plane will go directly to the plane’s owner.
No further information was provided about the pilot or passenger. The plane is registered to an owner in Napa.
Due to the government shutdown, Sacramento County’s Regional Parks Department has lead the investigation of the crash, which would usually fall under the guidance of the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board.
Landing a plane on open-water is legal “provided that its safe…and it is not an area that is a sanctuary a bird sanctuary or any sort of sanctuary for animals that you can land.”