Plane lands, intentionally, in river near Gateway Arch

February 14, 2019 GMT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A small airplane splashing down in the Mississippi River near the Gateway Arch set off a brief panic, but it turned out it was just the manufacturer showing off its capabilities.

The same plane that caused a big commotion Wednesday made a return river landing Thursday north of downtown St. Louis, again prompting 911 calls and a fire department response.

The landings are unusual, but apparently legal. St. Louis police say they’re not investigating. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said it does not appear any federal laws were violated.


But the Wednesday landing so close to the Arch and several bridges caused quite a stir. Drivers on the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge called 911 claiming a plane crashed into the water. The fire department responded by sending nearly four dozen personnel with pumper trucks, ambulances and rescue boats.

By the time they arrived the plane was gone, only making a brief touch-down before flying away.

The landing Thursday, again in the Mississippi River but this time near the Chain of Rocks Bridge a few miles to the north, set off another round of 911 calls.

The plane is an Icon A5, an amphibious sport plane manufactured by California-based Icon Aircraft. Company spokesman Brian Manning said in an email that the river landings are part of demonstration flights with potential customers because the plane is new to the St. Louis region.

Manning said air traffic controllers were aware of the landings “and our pilots are abiding by all laws and ordinances.” After Wednesday’s hubbub, the company contacted police and fire officials to make them aware that additional landings are planned, he said.