Crews respond to plane crash in Tennessee River


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Crews are responding to a report of a small plane in the water of the Tennessee River near the Island Home Airport.

The call came in just before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Knoxville Police Department says the pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft is uninjured and is on shore with first responders.

KPD also telling WATE 6 On Your Side the pilot was trying to land the aircraft at the time of the crash, then swam to shore.

Knoxville Fire Department was also at the scene and waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to arrive and investigate the crash.

KFD stating in a press release that they received a call for a down plane just east of Island Home Airport at 8:45 p.m.

“When firefighters arrived they found eyewitnesses saying they saw the plane go down in the river just west of the water treatment plant, near the north bank,” KFD’s release states. “Firefighters launched a rescue boat and began searching the water. The pilot was spotted and pulled from the water. The 62-year-old pilot had flown out of Sky Ranch and was returning VFR at approximately 2,000 feet when his engine failed just shy of the Island Home Airport.”

The pilot had 5 gallons of fuel on board the Flightstar Ultralight plane.

The 62-year-old was (not) injured and the only person on board.

The plane is submerged in 15 feet of water, KFD said.

No other passengers were aboard the aircraft.

Crews will continue to search for the small aircraft early Wednesday morning, officials said, since it got too dark to see.

WATE 6 On Your Side is working to learn more on this developing story and will update as additional details are made available.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 Storm Weather School