Richard Bach, the author of the 1970s best-selling novella Jonathan Livingston Seagull among other spiritually oriented books rooted in themes of flight and self-discovery, was in serious condition yesterday after his small plane crashed in Washington state. The SeaRey single-engine amphibian aircraft clipped power lines Friday at 4:30pm about three miles west of Friday Harbor Airport, according to an FAA official.
Bach's son, James Bach, said his father was on his way to visit a friend on San Juan Island when the plane went down. James Bach said his 76-year-old father, who was flying alone, suffered a head injury and broken shoulder. Later in the day he tweeted: "Things are looking better. Doctors are `guardedly optimistic.'" Bach has been a pilot for his adult life, often touching on his experience in the cockpit of his beloved plane in his writings. "Dad described his religion as flying," James Bach said. "It would be terrible if he recovers and can't fly again—this guy needs to fly." (Read more plane crash stories.)