Paddleboarders rescue pilot who crashed plane in Austin lake

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW/AP) — A pilot crashed a small airplane into Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin and was helped to shore by paddleboarders, officials said.

The pilot, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden, was on a test flight Thursday afternoon when the crash occurred, officials said. He was taken to a hospital with potentially serious injuries, medics said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is aware that a Game Warden Pilot was involved in a plane crash today in Austin on…

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Thursday, June 16, 2022

The pilot reported mechanical issues and was forced to land in the lake, a Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesperson said. The plane had just come out of routine maintenance.

A bystander, Nicholas Compton, told Austin TV station KXAN that he heard a paddleboarder yell that a plane had landed in the water. Compton said he then helped bring the pilot to shore.

“I was expecting to see something much worse than a man still alive floating so I was very relieved to see that he was still conscious … So, it wasn’t much thinking except just getting him to the shore to medical services,” Compton told the TV station.

The plane was successfully removed from the water, according to a Facebook post from Texas Parks and Wildlife. 

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