Plane Attempts Heart-Stopping Landing Near Beach

A banner-carrying aircraft made an emergency landing in the waters off Hampton Beach on Saturday, resulting in a dramatic incident that saw the plane flip in the air before ending upright in the water. Miraculously, the pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, was promptly rescued by vigilant lifeguards and reported no injuries.

According to eyewitness video footage captured by a WMUR viewer, the plane attempted to touch down on the water’s surface, but as the nose made contact, the tail flipped into the air. However, the aircraft soon regained stability and landed right-side up in the water. The emergency landing raised concerns, as the plane had been seen pulling a banner advertising a local business just before attempting the descent.

Identified as a Piper PA-18-150 with the tail number N4890P, the aircraft was registered to Eugene F. Gray of North Hampton, according to FAA records. Gray is also listed as a co-owner of Sky Lines Aerial Ads, LLC, based in the same area.

The incident unfolded around noon on Saturday, shortly after the plane took off from Hampton Airfield at approximately 10:45 a.m. Data from flight tracking software revealed that the aircraft made several laps along Hampton Beach and Salisbury Beach before the tracking ended at 11:59 a.m.

Upon landing in the water, the pilot was quickly rescued by lifeguards present at the scene. Fortunately, the pilot emerged unscathed from the harrowing ordeal. Authorities confirmed that he was the only person aboard the plane at the time of the incident.

Hampton Police Chief Alex Reno confirmed that the aircraft was a fixed-wing, banner-carrying airplane and that the pilot had reported engine problems leading up to the emergency landing. However, the precise cause of the engine malfunction is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The plane, which was seen with its banner and all, has since been retrieved and pulled to shore for further inspection. Investigators will closely examine the aircraft to determine the exact sequence of events that led to the emergency landing.

At this time, the pilot has chosen not to speak to the media regarding the incident. As the FAA conducts its investigation, more details are expected to emerge about the circumstances surrounding the engine problems and the events that transpired during the plane’s emergency landing.



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