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Textbook ditching videoed by US Coast Guard

PUBLISHED: 10:47 28 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:42 28 January 2015

The US Coast Guard caught on camera the complete sequence of events as a Cirrus SR22 ferry pilot deployed the aircraft’s recovery parachute for a ditching off the coast of Hawaii on Monday morning. The pilot was alone on board on a ferry flight from Tracy, California, reports AVweb biz .

He contacted the Hawaii National Guard at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and reported he had just three hours of fuel left and planned to ditch the airplane 230 miles northeast of Maui. The Coast Guard sent an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to rendezvous with the airplane.

The pilot deployed the SR-22’s parachute system at about 4:44 p.m. and splashed down safely in the Pacific. The seas were 9 to 12 feet and winds up to 28 mph, the Coast Guard said. The pilot climbed into a life raft and was taken aboard a nearby cruise ship en route to Maui, while the Hercules crew stood by.

The SR22 was one of two single-engine aircraft that went into the sea off Hawaii. The pilot of the second, a Cessna contacted the Hawaii Control Facility at Honolulu International Airport about 6 p.m. on Sunday and reported that the airplane, on a flight from Kauai to Oahu, was running out of fuel and he might have to ditch. The airplane disappeared from radar less than 10 minutes later. All four on board, three adults and one child, were rescued by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew. They were hoisted aboard and taken ashore where they were being treated for exposure at a medical facility; their conditions were not reported.

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