A woman is seriously injured after they were struck by a Piper Cub while kayaking. The bizarre crash is under investigation to figure out how this could even happen.
There are a lot of ways to crash a plane. Sometimes you overshoot a runway or accidentally ram another plane. I can’t say I’ve ever head of a plane hitting a kayaker before. That’s what happened on Wednesday when a 42-year-old woman in a kayak on the Willamette River in Yamhill County, Oregon, was seriously injured by a plane attempting a take off, reports the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.
The 69-year-old pilot, with 6,500 hours of logged flight time, attempted to take off a 1946 Piper J3C-65 Cub from the gravel bar of the Lower Lambert Bar.
Something went wrong and both the kayaker and the plane ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The aircraft struck the kayaker, seriously injuring them. Amazingly, both the kayak and the plane appear to have sustained little damage:
The Piper J3C-65 Cub has its roots in teaching a generation of pilots to fly. These aircraft enjoy a low operating cost and a simple design, allowing many examples to survive an impressive number of years while still being airworthy.
It’s a plane that flies low and slow and this one, tail number N6018H, has an 85 HP Continental C85 four-cylinder flat-four piston engine.
The J3C-65 Cub is known for being easy to fly and the large tires enable it to takeoff and land on a variety of surfaces. Its pilot says that they have taken off from the gravel bar at least 50 times.
The pilot is cooperating with the police investigation and as Oregon Live reports, will go back to the gravel bar in an attempt to replicate what happened. The kayaker was sent by rescue boat to an ambulance where they were delivered to a hospital. Another person with the kayaker is uninjured.
How or why the crash has happened is unclear and authorities are investigating. The kayaker is 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.