The U.S. Coast Guard has released an incredible video that shows a plane ditching into the Pacific Ocean after it ran out of fuel. According to USA Today, the small plane, a Cirrus SR-22, was on its way from Tracy, California, to Maui, Hawaii, when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean. According to reports, midway through the journey, the pilot realized that his aircraft did not carry enough fuel to make it to Maui. He alerted the U.S. Coast Guard about his predicament.
With the location already known, the U.S. Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter and another plane to aid the man. The video (embedded above) was captured by the same helicopter sent to rescue the pilot. The Coast Guard, in the meantime, alerted a cruise ship that was in the vicinity of the incident and told them to remain in standby for an extra passenger. The pilot of the doomed aircraft was also told to fly towards the area where the cruise ship awaited the crash landing.
The video shows the last moments of the flight, which after running out of fuel, goes out of control and spirals towards the ocean. The pilot immediately deploys a parachute in order to cushion the effects of the crash landing. The pilot, who was able to safely exit the aircraft and get hold of a life raft, has not been identified yet. He was flying solo. Shortly after it crashed, the plane sunk into the ocean. The pilot faced an immediate threat in the form of nine- to 12-foot waves and wind gusts of 25 to 28 mph. Eventually, the cruise ship, Veendam, rescued the pilot.
Later, coast guard officials confirmed that the rescued pilot was in good condition and did not sustain any serious injuries.
Incidentally, another aircraft headed towards Hawaii also suffered a similar fate on the same day. According to Yahoo! News, the other aircraft was a single-engine Cessna that was on its way from Kauai to Oahu. There were four people on board the plane, including a child. The plane contacted coast guard at around 6:20 p.m. local time and informed them that he was running low on fuel, and that he may have to ditch the aircraft.
The aircraft landed some 11-miles off Oahu. A Coast Guard helicopter was used to rescue the people on board the aircraft. After all four individuals were given emergency treatment, they were taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Their conditions were not immediately available.
[Image Via Geograph UK]