ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida – The National Transportation Safety Board has put out its first report on the small plane crash on Anastasia Island in November.
Investigators are glad that the pilot was able to land the Piper PA-18-150 on the beach at Anastasia State Park without hurting anyone.
According to the NTSB’s Aviation Investigation Preliminary Report, the pilot was doing an aerial survey of erosion after Hurricane Nicole on November 14. He said that his engine sputtered twice for 30 to 60 seconds, sputtered a third time, and then turned off.
The NTSB says that the plane went into glide mode and headed toward a less crowded part of the beach. As the pilot made his final spiraling move, the plane started sinking faster than he expected. The NTSB said that the pilot put the plane down in the surf line after leveling the wings. The NTSB says that as he landed, the front landing gear got stuck in the sand, and the plane flipped over into the water.
The pilot got out of the cockpit without getting hurt.
The plane’s engine lost power, and investigators are still trying to figure out why.