The good news is that Mr. Fogg, who lives at the Whacky Burgers restaurant in Wilsonville (yep, that’s the address listed on the FAA inspector’s statement), Oregon, is OK.
The bad news is that the beautiful Glastar (N238MA) on floats that he was flying the afternoon of 9 February is not.
According to the FAA inspectors’ statement, Mr. Fogg was planning to perform a circuit (on a paved runway) at the Aurora State airport, hence he had the floatplane’s landing gear extended.
“The original plan was to make a left turn and stay in the traffic pattern but with other aircraft in the pattern, he extended his depart leg which took him over the Williamette River about 2.5mi to the north,” said the inspectors.
Hey! Water? Floatplane? Hmmmm.
“At the time he noticed how calm the river was so he decided to do a landing on the river,” the interview revealed.
As all of us pilots know, when you change plans on a whim, that’s typically when things go to hell.
This was the case with Mr. Fogg when the Glastar touched down and flipped over as he watched “in slow motion”. Fogg told the inspectors that checking the gear position prior to landing was not part of his mental checklist for the Glastar, and there wasn’t a written checklist prepared for the aircraft.
Fogg had lots of time to contemplate his fate after swimming out of the mostly submerged plane.
FAA: “He climbed onto the floats and floated slowly down the river for 1.5 hours until someone on the shore spotted him and called for help.”
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