Student pilot survives emergency crash landing in Port Alfred river

Port Alfred - A student pilot crashed into a river during an emergency landing in Port Alfred on Wednesday, apparently after the plane suffered engine failure, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

During the landing, a wing of his single-engine plane clipped a fence, causing him to veer into the Kowie River, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

The 20-year-old pilot's plane from 43 Air School in Port Alfred suffered engine failure during a navigational training flight from the local airfield around 10:00.

The NSRI found him on the river bank and his plane submerged in the river. He was the only occupant and was unhurt.

CEO of 43 Air School, Attie Niemann, in a statement praised the student pilot for what appeared to be a textbook emergency landing in a difficult area.

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