Pilot Lost In Lake


Witnesses saw a man appear to escape the single-engine float-equipped experimental Avid Catalina registered to 61-year-old Jim Eachus that sank Wednesday into Inks Lake near Burnet, Texas, but then saw him disappear into the water. It took until Saturday morning for searchers to find the body of the pilot. Witnesses say one of the aircraft’s pontoons appeared to run low in the water, sinking until a wing touched the surface and the aircraft flipped over. The pilot, according to the witnesses, emerged from the plane’s window but then disappeared into the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department deployed search parties in boats and employed SONAR to try to locate the missing pilot. The lake is about 40 feet deep in the area of the crash site and wind, noted in the FAA’s preliminary report out of the south gusting to 15 knots, pushed some of the aircraft’s wreckage to shore, expanding the search area. A dive team that searched Wednesday and Thursday failed to find the pilot, who was remembered by his instructor as a passionate, hard-working and excellent pilot who flew regularly.

Over the days that the search went on, searchers remained vigilant. “We’re going to keep going out there and keep searching until we find him,” Tom Harvey, Parks and Wildlife spokesperson told reporters Friday.