Plane flips landing on Lake Gladewater

GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - For the second day, emergency responders are called out for a plane down incident, this time on an East Texas lake.

A single-engine float-plane flipped-over during an attempted water landing this morning on Lake Gladewater around 7:30.

The pilot suffered only minor injuries after a narrow escape from the sinking plane.

Gladewater Fire and Rescue and other responders scrambled out quickly upon a report that a float plane had flipped over in that lake on landing.

"We had a plane go down inside lake Gladewater, we responded it was unknown whether the pilot had gotten out of his aircraft yet," says DPS trooper John Smith.

"We were unsure if there were any injuries so we had multiple agencies respond," says Upshur County game warden Nathan Skeen.

The FAA has initially reported the pilot of the Searey ACFT craft, classified as experimental,  departed Gladewater airport for lake Gladewater, and did not lift his landing gear when making a water landing.

Investigators say an experienced pilot, as this one was, knows how to set down on water.

But it can be like concrete if you don't hit it right.

"The plane that was on the water today was called a float plane and there used to land on water. Anytime you're coming at a high rate of speed like that in an airplane a boat and you hit water unexpectedly there could be some possible danger in that," Skeen says.

They were also a concern of any traffic that might have been on the lake at the time.

"With it being early in the morning the boat traffic was kind of slow," says Skeen.

The pilot was able to exit the craft before it began to sink. Now the investigation is into why.

"To determine whether it was pilot error or whether the aircraft had a mechanical defect," Smith says.

On-site investigators say FAA officials will do their own investigation of the incident.

The plane has been hauled ashore for inspection.

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