Couple watches plane go down near cabin

Josh Pennell
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It’s a trip to the cabin Dora Hopkins and her husband, Job Hopkins, aren’t likely to forget.

The couple were at their place near Rigolet when a small plane flew straight over them, but it was obvious to Dora that something was wrong.

“I couldn’t hear no motor.

I couldn’t hear no engine noise,” she says.

She watched the plane silently glide overhead, turn into shore and come down in shallow water in Groswater Bay.

Considering the circumstances, the landing seemed somewhat effortless.

“There was not a real big splash. I’d say he was a good pilot,” Dora says.

It turns out the pilot was the only person onboard on the small Cessna. The 34-year-old man from Washington had departed Goose Bay Airport Saturday morning and was en route to Greenland. He experienced engine trouble just after 11 a.m. and ditched the plane in the bay after he lost oil pressure and smoke started to enter the cockpit.

By the time Dora and Job got to the pilot, he had gotten himself to land and was walking along the shore.

He seemed a bit shaken up, Dora says, but not enough to forget his manners, it seems. The man started by introducing himself.

“He asked us how we were and I said, ‘Well, how are you? You’re the one that just (crashed).’ He said ‘Well I had better days,’” Dora says.

They were going to take the pilot into Rigolet, but within a few minutes a coast guard helicopter that was in the area and had been dispatched by the Joint Task Force Atlantic picked the uninjured pilot up.

His plane is still half submerged in the water near the Hopkins’ cabin. Dora says it was the first plane she’s ever seen go down.

“And the last time I hope.”

Organizations: Cessna, Goose Bay Airport

Geographic location: Groswater Bay, Washington, Greenland

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