Two men in a float plane were rescued Thursday by workers at the Hayden Lake Marina after the plane flipped over in the lake.
An instructor and a student were in the plane and forgot to pull up the aircraft’s wheels before attempting the water landing, according to Kootenai County sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Ben Wolfinger.
The student and owner of the plane, Michael Bell, 61, of Spokane, was piloting the aircraft. The passenger and instructor was Michael Kinkaid, 62, of Coeur d’Alene, a news release from the Sheriff’s Department said. The men had taken off from the Coeur d’Alene airport.
The accident was reported at 9:38 a.m. Workers at the marina witnessed the accident and headed out in a fishing boat to pull the men out of the water. Neither man was wearing a life jacket and the lake’s water temperature was in the 40s, Wolfinger said. The pilot and passenger were taken to a private residence near Honeysuckle Beach to warm up.
The plane flipped about a mile from the lakeshore at the Honeysuckle boat launch, near the old Tobler Marina site, where the lake is about 200 feet deep, he said.
The plane is a Murphy Rebel 180 horsepower two-seater and is equipped both with wheels and pontoons. The Northern Lakes Fire Department used absorption pads to soak up any fuel leaking from the plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified. Crews were working Thursday afternoon to flip the plane upright and get it out of the lake, the release said.