An American Influencer Filmed His Plane Crash And Rescue From The Middle Of The Pacific Ocean

An influencer and founder of an American extreme sports brand filmed his plane crash into Pacific waters, about 9 miles off the coast, a few weeks ago. The rescue video quickly went viral.

David Lesh has probably never been so happy to be back on land. As the young American was travelling the west coast of the United States at Half Moon Bay, California, accompanied by his friend Kayla, the plane carrying the couple suddenly crashed into Pacific waters, about 9 miles from land.

‘We’re floating around now, in the Pacific Ocean... I’m holding on to my window shades as a floatation device’

The plane, a small Beechcraft aircraft, crashed due to a sudden loss of power, CNews said on August 26th. According to ABC News, the aircraft had been purchased a few weeks earlier by David, who is also the founder of an extreme sports clothing brand.

‘We’re floating around now, in the Pacific Ocean... I’m holding on to my window shades as a floatation device,’ he can be heard saying in one of the videos shot shortly after the crash into Pacific waters.

With a surprisingly calm air despite the expanse of water surrounding them, David continues: ‘I think there was a fuel problem. We're getting cold, and there are jellyfish too.’

‘I grabbed my phone, objects to float on…’

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Pics were taken just before ditching into the ocean. Read below, then scroll through all pics to read the rest of the story. Thanks for the support everyone. A little about myself and the incident: I've wanted to fly airplanes since I was 3 years old but couldn't afford to. After starting my company (@virtika) and making a few bucks, the first thing I did was get my license in the winter of 2009/2010 in the minimum of 36 hours. I then moved to New Zealand that summer and got my NZ pilot's license. After coming home, I immediately purchased a '79 Piper Lance and have accumulated around 900 total hours since then, flying it all around North America, Mexico, and the Bahamas. I got my instrument rating in my Lance and my Sea Plane rating last summer. I bought my A36 (w/ Western Skyways turbo) around 9 weeks ago and flew it for around 4 hours before it went down for maintenance and upgrades (tip tanks, flap/gap seals, 3 cylinders, and other minor stuff). I then flew it for around 10 hours in CO, to Vegas, and then Cali before the accident flight. The night before the incident flight, I had the fuel truck at Hayward Airport outside of Oakland top off my main tanks (tip tanks were empty). The next morning during my preflight I had to sump each tank 4-5 times to get to clear gas (lots of flakey black sediment in the fuel). I noted this as being more than usual, but nothing to be alarmed of since we all see stuff in our fuel from time to time and I did get to clear fuel after a few sumps. We then flew to Monterey and then to a small grass strip on the coast. During a few points in those flights, the fuel flow became unstable which was fixed by turning the boost pump on low. This was unusual, but not alarming from what I have been told about these Bonanzas, particularly the TN's. We landed at Reid Hillview to pick up the 182 (photo plane) and headed out towards the coast in formation. Since I was in trail, the 182 (Owen) was dealing with comms, nav, airspace, transponder, etc). Had I been alone, I would have been higher, talking to ATC, and within gliding distance of shore. **Scroll through all photos to read rest of story** 📷: @krhvphotography / @sjcspotter

A post shared by David Lesh (@davidlesh) on

But fortunately for the passengers, the crash was not too violent and allowed them to get out of the cabin before the plane sank. ‘We immediately opened the door. I grabbed my phone, objects to float on and we stayed on the wing while the plane was floating, which probably lasted for 30 or 40 seconds,’ David told ABC News. About 20 minutes later, the coast guard arrived on the scene to save the couple from a definite drowning.

But across the Atlantic, some people are wondering and even suspect David Lesh, who has a community of just over 40,000 Instagram subscribers, of having staged the crash. To which the young entrepreneur replied to the Chicago Sun Times that he had paid the sum of £160,000 to buy the plane, and spent an additional £32,000 to improve it.

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