Last month, Plane & Pilot eNews published a story about the successful forced water landing of a Beechcraft Bonanza off the Pacific Coast in central California. The emergency landing came after the plane’s engine failed outside of gliding distance off shore. The pilot of the Beechcraft, David Lesh, executed a perfect ditching, which was captured on video by an occupant of the camera plane above. After the Bonanza came to rest, Lesh and his female passenger successfully escaped the sinking plane, leaving the pair treading water while awaiting rescue as the camera plane continued to orbit above them.
Forty-five minutes later, a Coast Guard helicopter, which luckily had been doing practice runs over the bay, picked up the pair and flew them back to dry land. It was, however, a long, cold 45 minutes in the Pacific for Lesh and his passenger, both of whom reportedly sustained numerous jellyfish stings and suffered from hypothermia by then.