A woman and her teenage son have survived a light plane crashing into the ocean in front of horrified witnesses in Western Australia.
The 45-year-old pilot and her 15-year-old son swam about 50 metres to shore after the crash at Leighton Beach just after 5pm (7pm AEST).
The mother and son were on their way to Jandakot Airport from Exmouth after viewing the solar eclipse when the plane started going down from a suspected mechanical failure.
It is understood the mother forced a water landing after realising the aircraft’s issue.
“Its a scary incident for them, but the pilot did an exceptional job bringing it down,” WA Police Inspector Mark Cannon said.
“We are close to a lot of public buildings so they did very well to put it down where they did.”
Police confirmed there was no fuel spillage from the crash.
At first police believed the plane was a Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, its now been confirmed to be a Piper Cherokee.
Witnesses said they watched as the plane crashed.
“Mum was shouting saying, ‘that plane is nose diving’, by the time I turned around the plane just hit the water,” one witness told 9News.
The mother was taken to hospital for treatment while the boy was treated at the scene by paramedics.
Police confirmed the pair were in a stable condition.
The plane is now completely submerged underwater.
Police have begun investigations into the crash, and have begun trying to secure the plane to lift it out of the water.