A woman is seriously injured after being struck by a Piper Cub while kayaking. The freak accident is being investigated to understand how it might even happen.
There are many ways to crash a plane. Sometimes you pass a runway or accidentally hit another plane. I cannot say that I have ever had the head of a plane that hit a kayaker before. That’s what happened Wednesday when a 42-year-old woman kayaking on the Willamette River in Yamhill County, Oregon was seriously injured by a plane trying to take off, reports Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.
The 69-year-old pilot, with 6500 flight hours logged, attempted to take off a 1946 Piper J3C-65 Cub from the gravel bank of the Lower Lambert Bar.
Something went wrong and the kayaker and the plane ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The plane struck the kayaker, seriously injuring him. Surprisingly, the kayak and the plane appear to have suffered little damage:
The Piper J3C-65 Cub has its origins in learning to fly from a generation of pilots. These planes benefit from a low cost of operation and a simple design, allowing many examples to survive an impressive number of years while still being airworthy.
It is a low and slow flying plane and this one, tail number N6018H, has an 85 HP four cylinder, four piston flat four piston Continental C85 engine.
The J3C-65 Cub is known to be easy to ride and the large tires allow it to take off and land on a variety of surfaces. Its pilot says they have taken off from the gravel bank at least 50 times.
Pilot cooperates with police investigation and as Oregon Live reports, will return to the gravel bank to try to reproduce what happened. The kayaker was sent by rescue boat to an ambulance where he was taken to hospital. Another person with the kayaker is unharmed.
How or why the accident happened is unclear and authorities are investigating. The kayaker sustained head and leg injuries but is expected to make a full recovery, KGW8 reports. This is a developing story with no further information available.