Video shows small plane going down into ocean off Half Moon Bay

An aerial photo shoot off the coast turned into a rescue drama when one of two small aircraft flying together malfunctioned and the pilot ditched it into the ocean.

The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza propeller plane went down into the Pacific Ocean near Half Moon Bay at about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Two people were on board a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza when it crashed for “unknown circumstances,” according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

The pilot of the second plane quickly reported the crash to the Coast Guard and circled overhead.

A rescue helicopter hoisted the downed plane’s uninjured pilot and passenger out of the water.

Pilot David Lesh tells KGO-TV the flight was aimed at making images of his newly purchased plane over the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. Instead, the plane lost power and Lesh had to set it down and he and his friend ended up in the water.

They were able to get out of the aircraft, which sank, Gregor reported. The U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release that the two people in the crash refused medical treatment, but were airlifted to Air Station San Francisco and were seen by San Francisco International Airport fire department personnel.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash, saying that it “typically takes up to a year” to determine the cause of an accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Drew Costley is an SFGATE editorial assistant. Email: drew.costley@sfgate.com | Twitter: @drewcostley

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/plane-crash-half-moon-bay-us-coast-guard-14365323.php.

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