Los Angeles (AFP) – Video from a US Coast Guard aircraft released Monday captured the drama of a single-engine airplane and its pilot splashing safely onto the Pacific Ocean thanks to a parachute inside its fuselage.
The factory-new Cirrus SR22 was en route to Hawaii on Sunday afternoon on a ferry flight from the San Francisco area when it “ran out of fuel,” the Coast Guard said in a press release.
Video from the C-130 Hercules rescue plane showed the ill-starred aircraft deploy its airframe parachute – standard equipment on the five-seat aircraft that sells for $725,000 in its turbocharged version – an estimated 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) above the sea.
Three and a half minutes later, the Cirrus hit the water with a splash, and the unidentified pilot is seen climbing into a small life raft.
He was picked up about a half-hour later by a passing cruise ship, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) off the Hawaiian island of Maui.
“The pilot was reported to be in good condition. The plane was last observed partially submerged,” the Coast Guard said.