Plane flips in lake; men escape injury

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Two men swam safely away from an aircraft after it crashed Monday morning in Nikiski's Island Lake.

Pilot Jim Robinson, 61, of Nikiski, and passenger David Richardson, 31, of Anchorage, were attempting to land a Beaver floatplane on the lake when the plane flipped over and sank upside down, according to a report from Alaska State Troopers.

"The pilot was attempting to land and there was a complication," said trooper Joe Whittom. "He noticed one float was down, tried to correct and the plane flipped."

Whittom said both the pilot and passenger were able to open the doors while the plane was nose down in the water. They got out before the craft sank and swam to shore.

Both men were examined by Nikiski Fire Department personnel and released uninjured at the scene.

"It sounds like both guys were lucky for sure," said Greg Wilkinson, trooper spokesperson.

Robinson was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The extent of damage to the plane, owned by Alaska West Air of Nikiski, was unknown.

The case will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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