Plane hits rocks in Cove

A pilot in a Cessna 172 float plane lost steering power and hit the rocks while attempting to take off from Halibut Cove on Friday.

According to a preliminary inquiry, the pilot told National Transportation Safety Board investigators that he lost his left rudder capability, veered right and hit the shore. The crash damaged the plane’s float and propeller, said NTSB aviation accident investigator Noreen Price. The pilot was uninjured.

Price said the NTSB is looking at the plane’s frame to determine if the crash rises to the level where it will require on official accident investigation.

“I’m waiting for an inspection of the engine mounts or firewall to see if there’s any damage there,” Price said.

If the frame suffered damage, that would be severe enough to warrant an NTSB investigation. In a phone call on Monday, Price characterized the crash as an incident, and said the inquiry was a preliminary fact-finding investigation and not a formal NTSB investigation.

Citing NTSB policy, Price said she could not identify the pilot. If NTSB does start a formal investigation, a preliminary report would be issued within 7 days and a final report to determine the probable cause of the crash in one to two years.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at