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Passenger Lands Aircraft After Pilot Dies

March 21, 1996

RENTON, Wash. (AP) _ A man with limited flying experience landed a small float plane after the pilot died of an apparent heart attack at the controls.

With the help of air traffic controllers, Leland Capps managed to touch down on the south end of Lake Washington on his second try Wednesday. He then guided the plane off the water and onto the runway at Renton Municipal airport.

Capps and the pilot, Raymond Ihrke, 46, were the only two aboard the single-engine Cessna 206.

``He put the plane down on the water and then apparently the floats collapsed ... and so the plane kind of slid onto the runway belly down,″ said Woody Cummings, a duty officer at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Capps, 52, suffered minor injuries. The front of plane sustained major damage.

It was not immediately clear where the plane was headed or whether it had left from the airport in suburban Seattle.

The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.

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