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Author Richard Bach in plane crash on San Juan Island

The crashed plane on San Juan Island. - Steve Wehrly photo
The crashed plane on San Juan Island.
— image credit: Steve Wehrly photo

Orcas Island resident and well-known authorĀ Richard Bach is in critical condition after crashing hisĀ 2008 Easton Gilbert Searey airplane on San Juan Island on Aug. 31.

The plane was found upside down in a field in the San Juan Valley area around 4 p.m. Bach was the only occupant of the aircraft. He suffered serious injuries in the crash and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle by helicopter.

The airplane suffered major damage, but there was no fire. A wild land fire was sparked nearby by power lines that had been struck by the aircraft.

Bach, 76, is best known for his 1970s classic "Jonathan Livingston Seagull."

According to Sheriff Rob Nou, a preliminary investigation indicates the pilot was attempting to land on a grass airstrip and caught overhead power lines with the landing gear as he neared the runway. The power lines broke at least two nearby poles, dropping live wires that sparked the fire about a quarter mile away. The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA.

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