This incredible footage shows the moment a small plane crashes into the ocean off the California coast – before the two passengers on board filmed their own rescue while being stung by jelly fish and treading water.
Pilot Owen Leipelt filmed as his friend’s light aircraft hit the water off Half Moon Bay, alerting air traffic control to the incident as he kept circling above the crash scene on Tuesday.
In the water below, pilot of the downed jet, David Lesh, 34, was also filming as he and his only passenger escaped unharmed.
Lesh captured the moment his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza sank into the pacific before filming his own rescue.
The two friends had left from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose and were in the air together to take pictures of Lesh’s new jet when it lost power.
Lesh was able to skip the plane along the surface of the water before it finally crashed and sank.
David Lesh filmed as his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza sank into the pacific after he crashed off the coast of Half Moon Bay on Tuesday
Both Lesh and his female passenger were rescued unharmed by the coast guard. Footage shows the pair of them waiting on the wing of the plane before it sunk
The two survivors even seem in good spirits, laughing and joking in the water, pictured
Incredible pictures show as the plane sinking and the two survivors bobbing in the water as the helicopter arrives.
The two survivors even seem in good spirits despite the incident, laughing and joking in the water ahead of their rescue.
Lesh shows his friend smiling widely as they are taken to safety.
‘We skipped along the water for a few hundred feet and the impact was very minimal, it was not hard at all and we immediately opened the door and got out onto the wing.
‘We took a quick inventory of what was in the plane. I grabbed my cell phone and the keys to the car.
‘I knew we had about 20 or 30 seconds before it sunk.’
Lesh added: ‘It got cold pretty quickly. After about 20 minutes or so, I started to freeze up pretty good. There was jellyfish everywhere. There was sunfish. There was whales breaching around us.
‘We just waited as long as we could on the wing. The plane went down, we got into the water. Jellyfish were stinging us the entire time we were in there.’
Lesh said he told his female companion to take anything that would float, like seat cushions.
Emergency crews responded to a call at around 6:15 p.m, according to the according to Federal Aviation Administration.
The plane had left from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose before it lost power. Lesh was able to skip the plane along the surface of the water before it finally crashed and sank
Lesh shows his friend smiling widely as they are taken to safety in the incredible footage
Pilot Owen Leipelt filmed as his friend’s jet hit the water off Half Moon Bay. He alerted air traffic control and kept circling above the crash scene on Tuesday, pictured
Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Murphy credited pilot Owen Leipelt, left, with helping to save two lives. David Lesh, right, said the water ‘got cold pretty quickly’ and he started to ‘freeze up pretty good’ after around 20 minutes
Leipelt said: ‘Your heart sinks when you hear, ‘Mayday, I have no power.’ It’s something you don’t want to hear, and it takes a second to kick in.’
He told KTVU: ‘I had been circling him the whole time, from the time it impacted water. For about 10 minutes I couldn’t see him.’
The pilot said he has ‘never been so relieved in my life to hear him on the phone’ when Lesh called him 10 minutes later.
He told ABC7: ‘David called me on the phone as he was bobbing in the water. He turned me around and he guided me right to where he was.’
Lt. Cmdr. Joshua Murphy said: ‘We got the call, we responded immediately, headed directly out there and were able to find the orbiting aircraft and then find the people in the water.
‘The second pilot’s quick response to report the downed plane and remain on scene greatly aided the Coast Guard’s prompt response and ability to save two lives.’