Georg Erwin Bach, 65, was piloting his flying boat about 500 metres from the beachfront Six Senses Hotel when the engine of his amphibious craft blew up and crashed into the sea, witnesses said.
Employees at the hotel and a local boat operator rushed out in speed boats to help him. They said they found Bach unconscious with his body still strapped into the craft’s safety belts.
Pol Maj Patiwat Yodkwan of Chalong police station said no injuries were detected on his body. He was wearing swimming gear and a full helmet.
Pol Maj Patiwat said it appeared Bach died from drowning. His body has been sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital for an autopsy.
Witnesses said Bach was piloting his craft alone in the area. They saw him land on the water once after his engine died, then he restarted it and flew for another 500 metres before the engine exploded.