Lost power en route from Midland to NB

By Will Wright | The Herald-Zeitung

Investigators are looking into what caused the crash of a single-engine plane, which lost power before it skidded into Canyon Lake Tuesday morning.

First responders quickly arrived at the scene of the accident, which happened at a cove near the Westhaven subdivision on the south side of the lake around 10 a.m.

“The call came in from the 100 block of Canteen in Canyon Lake,” said Jennifer Smith, Comal County Sheriff’s Office public information officer. “A small Cessna plane was found submerged under the water, with the two occupants able to swim to shore.”

Smith said the men were flying from Midland to New Braunfels Regional Airport.

Visiting from Dallas, Ed Sanford, touring his old neighborhood with his girlfriend Lisa Wyatt, said they saw a plane flying low across the peninsula leading into the cove.

“It seemed like it was sputtering a bit,” he said of the plane. “It disappeared under the tree line but it came back up before it made a loud bang when it hit the water.

“I’m no pilot, but he did well. It looked like he was trying to avoid going into the neighborhood, where there’s houses everywhere.”

Standing from Tom’s Creek, Sanford called 9-1-1 while Wyatt took a photo before the plane submerged.

“We watched for a few seconds and then saw two heads and come up from out of the water,” Sanford said. “We yelled at other people to help — we’re just glad to hear they’re OK.”

Robert Mikel, Canyon Lake Fire & EMS assistant fire chief, said one of the men, both in their late 30s or early 40s, had non-life threatening injuries. He said a ground ambulance transported both men to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels. No word was immediately available on the condition of the injured man.

“We responded to a plane that went into the lake after it apparently lost power,” Mikel said. “Both of the men were already on the shore; one had minor injuries but both were taken to the hospital.”

Mikel said the plane was completely submerged “15 to 18 feet” under the lake.

“We had our fireboat out there looking for any kind of leaky fluids but couldn’t find any,” he said. “We did mark the site for the DPS and FAA; we were out there under an hour.”

Smith said officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife were investigating the accident. She said Federal Aviation Administration investigators were en route to the scene and the U.S. Corps of Engineers had also been notified.