Coast Guard assists in response to crashed aircraft on a Columbia River sandbar

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

WARRENTON, Ore. — Coast Guard crews assisted local agency partners in response to an aircraft, which reportedly flipped over while he attempted to land on a Wallace Island sandbar, on the Columbia River, Tuesday.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River landed on the sandbar, picked up the pilot, Douglas Pflugradt, and took him to Pearson Field in Vancouver, with no reported medical concerns or injuries.

A good Samaritan called Wahkiakum County 911 after he spotted the upside-down plane and a person next to it. His call was relayed at 1:34 p.m. by 911 dispatchers to sector watchstanders. The aircrew was diverted while en route on another response, and with the help of the reporting source, the crew was able to locate the aircraft. The aircrew arrived on scene within about ten minutes of the reporting call.

After the aircrew dropped the pilot off they resumed their prior response, which was a search on the report of a possible jumper from the Lewis and Clark Bridge between Longview, Washington, and Rainier. However, there were no signs of distress and the report of a bridge jumper appeared to be a false alert.

The wrecked plane currently remains on the sandbar. Oregon State Police personnel are overseeing recovery operations and assisting the Federal Aviation Administration in documenting the crash.

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