Best-selling author injured in San Juan Island plane crash


SAN JUAN ISLAND, Wash. - A pilot who was injured Friday afternoon after his aircraft crashed on San Juan Island was identified as best-selling author Richard Bach.


The incident happened at 3:55 p.m. when the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an airplane down in the San Juan Valley area about two miles west of Friday Harbor.


Crews responded to the scene and found a 2008 Easton Gilbert SeaRey plane upside down in a field. There was also fire that was sparked by power lines that had been caught by the plane.


Bach, 76, was the only occupant in the plane and he suffered serious injuries from the crash. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center.


As of Saturday afternoon, Bach is still in serious condition.


A preliminary investigation indicated Bach was attempting to land on a grass airstrip, but clipped overhead power lines with the landing gear as he neared the runway.


The power lines broke two nearby poles and dropped live wires, which sparked a fire.


The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will continue to investigate the crash.


Bach is an avid aviator who touched on themes of flight and enlightenment in his writings. He is the author of the 1970s best-selling novella "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah."