TAVARES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A seaplane capsized in alligator infested waters Wednesday afternoon.
Wind speeds over 20 miles per hour and choppy waves on Lake Dora may have played a role in how a seaplane rolled over while attempting to take flight, investigators said.
“It’s just too windy for that,” John McLaughlin said as he starred at the upside down plane.
Tavares Police said pilot John Cossette was taxiing out on the water about to take off when a front part of the seaplane dipped under the water, causing the aircraft to roll over. No passengers were on board when the plane capsized and the pilot was able to escape without injury.
Neighbors said the pilot was very lucky, not just because he was able to get out of his overturned seaplane, but because he was able to swim to shore without encountering an alligator.
The McLaughlin’s were out walking their dog when they noticed the plane floating upside down.
“We’re just thankful that the pilot is ok,” McLaughlin said.
Tavares Police were on the water inspecting the seaplane, which drifted a significant distance throughout the afternoon.
Neighbors said they are used to seeing seaplanes take off from Lake Dora, but this view of the rudders up attracted extra attention.
“It just shows what can happen if you’re not careful,” McLaughlin said.
The cause of the capsize will not be up to the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate.