Man crashes experimental plane in Lake Sammamish, again
March 12, 2013
By Ari Cetron
When Redmond resident Paul Weston crashed his experimental plane in Lake Sammamish on March 4, there was a bit of déjà vu.
Weston, who was not seriously injured, had crashed the same plane in about the same spot in the lake in June 2009.
This time, the problem was the weather. Weston was drawn out by a sunny day in March, but conditions were still windy. The float plane — it has no landing gear and can only take off from and land on water — was unable to achieve liftoff due to the water conditions, Weston said.
“It was just too choppy,” said Weston, sporting makeshift bandages made of wadded up paper towels and white electrical tape.
As the 86-year-old was trying to take off, the nose of the plane lifted and one of the wings clipped the water, causing the plane to spin.
Weston was able to taxi the plan back to shore at Vasa Park in Bellevue — the same location he used in 2009.
Weston said he’s a hobbyist who designed the fiberglass, single-seat aircraft himself. He said he built it in his garage. Other than the two crashes, he said he has logged about 86 hours of flight time in the plane.
Weston and a few helpers disassembled the plane and loaded it onto a trailer to take back to his house.
Police notified the Federal Aviation Administration, as is standard in such cases, said Sgt. Cindy West, of the King County Sheriff’s Office.