Pilot takes another flight after crashing - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Pilot takes another flight after crashing

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Andrea Medeiros

amedeiros@abc6.com

A pilot described his rescue to ABC6, Tuesday, for the first time since his plane went down in Block Island sound the day before.

That pilot, Mark Simmons, was back up in the air, Tuesday, to finish the job he started before the crash.

He landed safely at the Westerly Airport. It was a much better landing than Monday's, when he ended up in the water and had to be rescued.     

More good news, the woman he was carrying the "Will you marry me" sign for said yes.

Small plane pilot Mark Simmons took off, Tuesday, the same way he did the day before with the hopes of a better result.

"About ten to twelve minutes into the flight the engine all of a sudden ran rough and then shut off," said Simmons.

Mark was forced to ditch his plane into Block Island Sound. He strapped his landing gear to his body to stay afloat and was stuck in the water for about an hour.

"What was going through my mind was how am I going to live through this," said Simmons, "What can I do to make sure I'm going to live."

He lucked out. Boaters saw him waving his orange shorts around and picked him up. Simmons' eight year old son is so grateful to them he wore the name of their boat on his hat.

"If he went missing and we never saw him again," said Ethan, "Part of my life would be over because he's the instructor I want to get taught to fly by."

And now little Ethan will have that chance. His dad sent a message to him Tuesday, when you fall get right back up and try it again. He flew a marriage proposal banner back to Block Island just a day after he almost lost his life.

 "I want to make sure I take off in an airplane and then come back to the place that I took off, so my son at least knows that every time I go out it doesn't mean I'm not going to come back," said Simmons.

Simmons admits he has crashed before but never this bad. Every weekend in the summer he pulls banners on one of his small planes for special occasions. He loves it and tells us something like this won't make him stop anytime soon.

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