Air National Guard Helicopters Rescue Plane Crash Survivors
Luckily for the occupants of a private plane that went down in a remote Adirondack lake Thursday, rescue helicopters happened to be passing through the neighborhood.
Maj. Guiseppe Scaglione, spokesman for the Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, said two of the unit's Blackhawk helicopters were on their way to Fort Drum for a training exercise when the pilots heard a mayday from a small aircraft that went down in Gull Lake in Herkimer County.
Officials say the plane crashed around 9 a.m.
Air traffic controllers from Fort Drum directed the rescuers to the site, where they landed, picked up the two occupants and took them to Fort Drum.
After dropping the survivors off, Seaglione said, the National Guard crews continued with the training mission, a joint exercise with the Army called Jaded Moose.
The people rescued from the plane wreck were reportedly not seriously hurt.
The 106th Rescue Wing is based in West Hampton, N.Y., a community on Long Island.
A caution: many details about the crash were still sketchy - and sometimes contradictory - Thursday afternoon.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) described the plane as "a single engine, home built aircraft" that experienced an "engine-related problem." Officials also described the plane that crashed as "experimental."
A statement from the Vermont National Guard described the aircraft as a "civilian aircraft contracted by the Department of Defense to support a Vermont Air National Guard military training exercise."
An Associated Press report late Thursday afternoon said the people on the plane were helping coordinate the military exercise the helicopters were headed to.
The FAA said the plane was flying from Burlington to Rome NY.
Also, the FAA said the crash took place at Slim Pond in Long Lake.
State forest rangers were being sent to the crash site to determine if there is any environmental damage.
Read more: the Adirondack Daily Enterprise is following the story closely Thursday, and posting its coverage here.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Watertown, NY
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