Paddleboarders rescue pilot who crashed plane in Austin lake

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 11:00:47-04

AUSTIN, Texas (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.

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.