March 19 2018
Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon reports after further investigation his deputies learned the plane, 1960 Champion fixed wing, was operated by John Andrew McKinney, 57 of Lebanon. McKinney had the pontoon style airplane on the water and was pulling a juvenile female on a tube. Cindy Marie Blondin Witherington, 57 of Sweet Home, was a passenger in the plane.
The plane was moving at a slow speed and was heading to Shae Point to empty water out of the pontoons. The juvenile fell off the tube and McKinney circled around to pick her up. At this point, one of the pontoons filled with water and the plane rolled completely over. No one was injured.
The FAA is not responding to do an investigation as they consider it a boat when it is on the water. The Oregon State Marine Board was contacted along with the Army Corps of Engineers. The Sheriff's Office was initially assisted by the Sweet Home Police and Fire Departments. The airplane has been removed from the water. This investigation is continuing.
Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon reports at 3:20 p.m., his office received a 9-1-1 call reporting a plane that went down into Foster Reservoir. The caller was able to get the occupants out of the water onto their boat and safely to the shore.
When deputies responded, they learned that the plane has pontoon type landing gear and had intentionally landed on the lake, not crashing. When the three occupants were exiting the plane after landing, it became unbalanced and overturned. None of the occupants were injured.
Deputies are on scene and are currently conducting an investigation. Our office will release more information as it becomes available.