The man was coming in to land at a strip close to the Hedlundavan waterway in Lycksele in northern Sweden as his plane ran into trouble and crashed into the water only metres from bathing onlookers.
The aircraft crashed 15 metres from the shore and onlookers reacted quickly, jumping in boats to row out to the man’s plane.
“I tried to swim out to the plane but there was so much stuff in the water. The crash stirred up a bunch of muck, which made it hard to see,” any eyewitness told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“I climbed on the wing, but it came off.”
As some attempted to rescue the man on their own, other alerted authorities.
“Beachgoers were able to drag the man out of the plane. When the ambulance came the man was able to receive help immediately,” said Ann-Sofi Lindgren of the Swedish air rescue service to news agency TT.
The man was rushed to hospital where he was later declared to have died from his injuries.