Pontoon plane flips on St. Johns River in Palatka

Headline Goes Here

PALATKA, Fla. - A pilot and passenger escaped with minor injuries when their seaplane with its pontoon landing wheels in the down position crashed into the St. Johns River near in north Florida.

The Florida Highway Patrol says the plane hit the water at 5:10 p.m

Troopers say the pontoon seaplane, flown by 60-year-old Lindsay "Butch" Weaver Jr. of Boulder, Colo., flipped after attempting to make a routine landing on the river.

Witnesses called 911 before taking a boat out to the crash site. Kelly Redford says Weaver and passenger Joscelyn Blumenthal, 43, were out of the plane. They were loaded into the boat and taken to shore, where they were hospitalized for minor injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol, Putnam County Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were all investigating the incident.  They say the 1977 Cessna took off from Palatka Municipal Airport for a short flight to the river.

The initial findings are that the plane's landing gear under the floats had been left down resulting in the plane flipping as it landed in the water.  Investigators believe, the plane came to rest afloat in an inverted position with the passenger compartment and fuselage under water.

Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.