HAYDEN LAKE—The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has learned that the pilot and instructor who were involved in the aircraft accident on Hayden Lake last Thursday were both wearing personal flotation devices in the plane.
The pilot and student were rescued by barge workers Thursday morning after their float plane crashed into Hayden Lake.
Emergency personnel from the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and the Northern Lakes Fire District responded to a 9:38 a.m. call of a small plane that had crashed in Hayden Lake about one mile from the Honeysuckle Boat Ramp.
The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says a flying instructor and a student were aboard the single-engine plane. Prior to emergency personnel arriving, workers from the Hayden Marina went to the plane and rescued the two occupants and taken them to a private residence near Honeysuckle Beach. Both men were uninjured.
Authorities on scene said the student was flying at the time. According to the instructor, the wheeled landing gear was left down and when the float plane attempted to land on the water, the plane tipped upside down.
Piloting the plane was Michael Bell, 61 of Spokane. Bell was the student and owner of the plane. The passenger and instructor was Michael Kinkaid, 62 of Coeur d’Alene. The men had originally taken off from the Coeur d’Alene Airport this morning.
Mike Kincaid said he requires all persons in the aircraft to wear selfinflating personal flotation devices when training in seaplanes. Mr. Kincaid went on to say that he believes that it is important for the proper use of personal flotation devices for everyone who uses our waterways.
Since neither man was injured, they did not have to activate the vests they were wearing, but were able to get onto the floats until rescued by workers nearby.
Crews manning the Northern Lakes Fire Boat used special absorption pads to soak up any leaking petroleum products from the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration was notified so they can conduct the investigation.