Pilot: ‘I couldn’t ask for a better outcome’ after plane crashes in Elliott Bay
May 22, 2023, 7:15 AM | Updated: 9:29 am
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Update 5/22 7:14 a.m.:
Brendan Ross, the pilot who had to ditch his plane in Elliott Bay Thursday, says the crash happened after his engine quit on him and says he’s now ready to get back in the sky.
“I walked away from it because I knew what to do, so let’s get back in there and do it again,” Ross said. “The flying part, not the crashing.”
“My kids still have a dad, and my wife still has a husband, I couldn’t ask for a better outcome, honestly,” Ross continued. “That was about as well as it could have gone in terms of minimizing damage to the plane and to other people. I think the worst of it is my face.”
The 42-year-old pilot tells KIRO 7 TV he was piloting a small seaplane, which crashed into Elliot Bay. Videos from witnesses dining on the water show Ross popping up out of the water shortly after the crash.
“We saw the plane come in, it was a small glider, kind of low and slow, and as it was approaching the water, that’s when we lost sight of it,” said witness Karla Saur. “The Coast Guard was there within maybe 30 seconds.”
He suffered just minor injuries.
The plane sank to the bottom of the bay but will be recovered.
The FAA has begun an investigation into what caused a small seaplane to crash into Elliott Bay Thursday afternoon.
The 42-year-old pilot was able to escape the wreck after his plane went down in the water near Seattle’s Edgewater Hotel.
The Seattle Fire Department first tweeted about the crash around 6:30 p.m. The plane went down into the water off of the 2800 block of Alaskan Way.
Crews are investigating reports of a seaplane crash into the water off of the 2800 block of Alaskan Way. Please avoid the area.
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) May 19, 2023
“We saw the plane come in, it was a small glider, kind of low and slow, and as it was approaching the water, that’s when we lost sight of it,” said witness Karla Saur told KIRO 7. “The Coast Guard was there within maybe 30 seconds.”
They sent a rescue boat out to pick up the pilot, who picked the man up with only minor injuries. Authorities believe the pilot was the only one on board.
“It was pretty graceful he came down it seemed like he was just trying to get as close as he could to the fire station down there, so it was really graceful planned out, trying to get rescued,” witness DJ Zevenbergen told KIRO 7.
Medics transported the man to Harborview Medical Center, where his injuries will be evaluated further.
It’s believed the plane sank to the bottom of the bay, about 75 feet below the surface, and so the fire department marked the spot with a buoy.
Seattle Fire is working with the FAA, the U.S. Coastguard, and the EPA on the recovery of the plane and the investigation into the cause of that crash.
KIRO 7 contributed to this report