Pilot Who Crashed Plane Into Water Says He Will Fly Again

By: Jessa Goddard Email
By: Jessa Goddard Email

South Knoxville (WVLT) - A Loudon County man is recovering from minor injuries after crash landing his Ultralight plane in Fort Loudon Lake.

Volunteer TV's Jessa Goddard spoke to Albertus Wolfkamp from his hospital bed about when he knew there was a problem with his plane and why he says he's alive to talk about it.

Albertus Wolfkamp was trained with the Royal Dutch Air Force.

He spent a career working in aerospace and his free time building and flying airplanes.

"Like I've always done, I kept my cool. I've been in scrapes before in the Air Force, but I kept my cool," Wolfkamp said.

The Ultralight plane was his most recent purchase, purchased at an auction about a year ago.

The plane had a pretty good safety record and he had the ideal weather Sunday to finally see what she was really made of.

"I tried to throttle back and give it some more throttle, and it did not respond to that, so I knew that was some of the problem," he said.

Quickly losing power, his engine began to fail.

"And so I said, okay, fine that means there's only one way to do this... set it into the water."

And that's what he did.

Eyewitness reports say he landed the plane horizontally.

And when he hit the water, Wolfkamp was thrown forward, his face hitting the dash.

He landed just 20 yards from shore, making it easy to retrieve him, and the plane, from the water.

"But the reason I am alive is because I always stay calm," he says.

Wolfkamp says a pilot is trained to trust his instruments.

And while he isn't certain yet exactly what caused his engine to fail, he is certain of one thing.

"Flying is in my blood. And as long as I have a plane that I can trust, I will fly."

Federal Aviation Administration investigators are working with local authorities to determine what caused the engine to fail.

Wolfkamp tells us the crash and his injuries both look a lot worse than they are.

And he says he hopes to be released from the hospital by Monday night.


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