Hawaii pilot lost power during stunt before ocean splashdown

June 25, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — A pilot said he was was performing a stunt in his single-engine, two-seat plane when he lost power and crashed into the ocean in Hawaii.

Pilot Claus Hansen, 57, was not injured in the Thursday crash off Oahu. He told KITV that he sent a message on the radio just before crashing into the water.

“I lost partial power. I kept trying to nurse the throttle,” he said. “I radioed then looked for a place to set down. I spotted a big field but it had antennae and wires.”

“The prop that hit the water first split apart,” Hansen said.

He then got out of the plane and swam to shore. The plane was about 50 yards (45 meters) offshore, according to KITV. Other local media reported it was closer to 200 yards (182 meters) out.

“I opened the canopy, stepped out, stood on the wing,” Hansen said. “It was sinking. I stepped into the water.”

Hansen will work with the U.S. Coast Guard to salvage the plane, which is in about 10 feet (3 meters) of water.

“As far as I can tell, the airplane was intact,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a 1982 Yakovlev Yak-52, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Federal officials will investigate the crash.