Plane's Engine Fails and Its Emergency Landing in the Ocean Was Caught on Camera

Plane crashing in Half Moon Bay

Two people are miraculously alive after their plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday.

A man and a woman were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening after their BE-36 plane made an emergency landing in Half Moon Bay off the coast of Northern California, the Coast Guard said in a press release.

The terrifying ordeal was captured on camera by the duo’s friend, who was flying with them in another BE-36 aircraft.

The video shows the aircraft — which belonged to pilot David Lesh who was flying with his friend Kayla, CNN reported Wednesday — falling through the air and landing in the water. Video shows Lesh and Kayla standing on the wing of the plane before it sunk completely, and then they treaded water until help arrived.

Lesh, 34, told CNN that the friends had planned to fly over the Golden Gate Bridge and tour the Bay Area, but their trip was cut short when the Beechcraft Bonanza’s engine failed.

“I would guess we probably didn’t have much more than maybe a minute or two from the time, you know, I figured maybe something was wrong until we hit the water,” Lesh told CNN.

Speaking with NBC News, Lesh said that he suspects the crash was a fuel-related problem and described the collision with the water as “a mellow impact.” The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet on Tuesday that the “cause of the crash has yet to be determined.”

Lesh’s friend Owen Leipelt was piloting the other plane and told CNN that Lesh called him from the water to guide him to where he and Kayla were.

“At one point, I lost [sight of] them. I had been circling and I couldn’t see them anymore,” Leipelt explained to CNN. “And David called me on the phone, as he was bobbing in the water, and he turned me around and he guided me right to where he was.”

Plane crash

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Murphy said that the fact that Leipelt was able to contact first responders so quickly was a huge factor in saving Lesh and Kayla as fast as they did.

“The second pilot’s quick response to report the downed plane and remain on scene greatly aided the Coast Guard’s prompt response and ability to save two lives,” Murphy said in a statement.


“For as terrible as it was, it really wasn’t bad,” said Petty Officer First Class Mikol Sullivan to CNN.

Neither Lesh or Kayla suffered any injuries, but were beginning to feel the effects of the water’s cold temperature and did get a few jellyfish stings, NBC News reported.

Of their harrowing experience, Sullivan added, “It was really a miracle.”

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