Three Survive Crash-landing in Ocean

Three occupants of a light aircraft were rescued after the pilot put the plane down in the ocean off the coast of Kaohsiung City this evening, July 9.

The Diamond Aircraft Industries 4-seat, single-engine DA40 aircraft belonging to Apex Flight Academy disappeared from radar screens southwest of Kaohsiung International Airport after sending a mayday message at around 5:10pm.

The National Search and Rescue Command Center reported that two people had been airlifted out of the water by helicopter, while a third was rescued by a coast guard vessel.

The Ministry of National Defense said that it had dispatched a Sikorsky S-70 helicopter to an area near Xiaoliuqiu (Lamay Island) after being alerted by National Search and Rescue at around 5:23pm.

Apex Flight Academy told media that the three people on board were a flight instructor and two students.

No serious injuries were sustained in the forced sea landing, and all three walked into the hospital unassisted for a medical examination. A 28 year-old flight trainee suffered a 3 centimeter laceration to his upper arm.

According to reports, the aircraft took off from Taitung Airport at 4:20pm on an instrument training mission bound for Kaohsiung Airport. The aircraft lost power shortly after 5:00pm and ditched into the ocean around 11 nautical miles from shore. A mayday message was sent, and search and rescue located the occupants within 40 minutes of the emergency landing.

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