Richard Bach, author of the classic 1970s fable “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” was seriously injured Friday when he crashed his small plane on San Juan Island.
Bach was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
A spokesman for the San Juan County Sheriff’s office confirmed that the tail numbers on the crashed plane match those of Bach’s plane, which he called “Puff.” On Bach’s personal website, friends expressed dismay at the news.
The San Juan Islander reports that Bach snagged power lines as he was attempting to land on a grass air strip off San Juan Valley Road. Two power poles snapped and the 76-year-old Bach, who lives in Eastsound on nearby Orcas Island, was left dangling upside down by his harness.
A group of campers cut him free and called for help.
Bach’s son, James Bach, told the Associated Press his father was flying his small, amphibious craft to visit a friend on San Juan Island.
Bach’s 1970 book was a runaway bestseller. It tells the story of a restless seagull who rejects conformity and soars above the flock both physically and spiritually.