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Float plane takes dive, pilot comes out okay

A float plane flipped upside down in Guntersville Lake Saturday as it was landing, but the pilot was not hurt and was able to get out of the plane just fine. The plane damage wasn’t too severe. “There’s no reason that plane can’t fly again after it’s checked out and goes through refurbishing,” said airport manager Bob Martin. The plane and pilot were out of the Muscle Shoals area. The pilot’s name has not been released. The plane was a Piper Super Cub outfitted with amphibious floats with wheels, allowing it to land either on land or water. Mr. Martin said it landed at the airport Saturday morning and the pilot used the airport’s courtesy car to go buy some food at the nearby gas station. “After the brief stop, the plane departed the airport,” Mr. Martin said.

The pilot was said to be practicing “touch and go” landings on the water near Buck Island when something went wrong and the plane flipped over. “The pilot was able to free himself from the plane and help was on the scene almost immediately,” Mr. Martin said. The plane was towed from its resting spot in the lake to a boat dock on Buck Island Road. The only part of the plane that was above the water was the amphibian floats. When the salvage company arrived at the location later, it determined that the water there was too shallow for the removal process. The plane was then towed across the lake to Powell Harbor at East Lake for removal. The pilot road the floats of the plane during the transit of the lake.

After the plane was removed from the water and sat on its floats, it was pulled out of the water and stored for the night. The wings were to be removed so it could be trucked back to its home base in Florence. “It was under water for 7 hours, so the instruments will have to be checked out to make sure they’re still working,” Mr. Martin said. “A refurb shop will have to check the engine and repair a little damage to the cowling.” He said there had been a lot of speculation as to just what caused the crash and he wasn’t going to add to it. “We just don’t know for sure what happened,” he said.




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