December 5, 2022 3:10 pm

Posted: 12.8.2022 6:49


Tuesday evening a pilot was making a water scoop pickup on Lake Livingston when it is believed his pontoon struck a stump under the surface of the water. This caused the plane to go into the lake and sink. The pilot was uninjured. Officials say the cockpit is built similar to a race car cockpit and can withstand excessive forces. Since Tuesday crews with Milstead HMR HAZMAT of Spring, have been working to float the plane using the services of TOWBOATS US with their air bladders to float the plane. Once it was up it was towed to the Trinity River Bridge between Point Blank and Onalaska. With the water level being so low they were forced to have to close the Highway 190 bridge and bring it up in the middle of the bridge over the security fencing. As Milstead Heavy Duty Wrecker began to lift the aircraft with which it had fuel and water with a weight of just over 13,000 pounds. , boats on the water had to keep their wings level. Once it was on the bridge they were able to readjust it and cradle it almost a mile to the On the Lake RV Resort where the plane will be dismantled and taken back to the owner’s hanger. Andrew Milstead with Milstead HMR said it was an around-the-clock operation and the coordinating of multiple resources. He wanted to thank DPS, Onalaska Police, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Onalaska Fire Department, and TXDOT for their help. He also said without the On the Lake RV Park being where it was at on the end of the bridge and the large area the owners made available to them this operation would have been much more difficult. Highway 190 was closed at 1:30 am and was expected to reopen at 4 am, however some of the fuel was unable to be pumped off while in the water or on the bridge due to the danger of leaking into the lake a small trail needed be cleaned on the bridge extending the closure time to about 7am.

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