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Pilot and Passenger Take Videos After Plane Crashes into Pacific Ocean

The video gave a reputation of 'attention-grabbing' and led to 'online speculation that the landing is staged.'

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Updated:August 23, 2019, 4:02 PM IST
Pilot and Passenger Take Videos After Plane Crashes into Pacific Ocean

The occupants of a small plane that crashed into the Pacific Ocean filmed themselves while waiting to be rescued by the US Coast Guard, leading to speculations of a staged landing.

David Lesh and a woman passenger spent about 30 minutes in the water on Tuesday after their single-engine Cessna “crashed” in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, all the while taking selfies and recording videos with a cellphone.

Owen Leipelt, who was flying another plane nearby, recorded the crash-landing of his friend’s plane due to an alleged engine failure.

“There she goes!” Lesh is heard saying in one video, referring to the plane’s tail bobbing in the water.

“The video and Lesh’s reputation for attention-grabbing led to online speculation that the landing was staged,” Associated Press reported.

Speaking to NBC and KRON4, Lesh said, "I was probably 3,400 feet, did everything I could. I couldn't get the motor running and put it into the Pacific.

"We skipped along the water for a few hundred feet and the impact was very minimal, it was not hard at all and we immediately opened the door and got out onto the wing."

"We took a quick inventory of what was in the plane. I grabbed my cell phone and the keys to the car."

"I knew we had about 20 or 30 seconds before it sunk."

Lesh said those accusing him of staging the crash had “lost their mind” as he had bought the plane less than three months ago for more than $200,000 and spent another $40,000 for upgrades, according to AP.

The 34-year-old founder of Colorado-based outerwear company Virtika pleaded guilty to mischief after he was arrested in 2014 in the state for filming himself burning shopping carts while producing a video for his company.

That same year, he was issued a ticket by the Colorado Division of Wildlife over reports that he was chasing a moose — in a car and on foot — for a video, San Francisco Bay Area television station KTVU reported.

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