Names Released In Lewis County Plane IncidentPosted: Updated:
We have the names of the people aboard the small plane which needed a parachute to avoid a crash landing in Lewis County.
They're identified as 47 year old Patrice Makinen, who was the pilot, and Julie Charlebois, both of Quebec, Canada.
Sheriff Mike Carpinelli said the couple was flying home to Canada from Georgia with their five month old baby.
The sheriff said the plane experienced engine problems prior to coming down Sunday afternoon at the corner of Willow Grove and Number Three roads just outside Lowville
Carpinelli said Makinen pulled an emergency parachute and called in a distress signal.
"We're gonna go back to the parachute. It was a great option that they obviously purchased when they bought plane, so thank God it was there," said Carpinelli.
The wind caught the parachute and flipped the plane over after the passengers left the scene.
He landed on John O'Brien's owns the land and went down to see what happened.
"The plane was sitting upright. For the most part, there really wasn't any damage to speak of to it," he said.
Makinen, Charlebois and the baby were taken to Lewis County General Hospital, where they were treated and released. Makinen returned to his airplane Monday morning to gather his belongings.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to investigate the incident on Tuesday.
The plane with a parachute is called a Cirrus SR-22 and there's one just like it at the Watertown International Airport. Mike Williams, a flight instructor, showed us how the parachute feature works.
"If the airplane is in peril for any reason whatsoever, one can reach up and grab the handle and just pull it and a big parachute will come out. The straps will rip out the side of this airplane and a parachute will manifest itself and the airplane will settle itself down to the ground," he said.
Williams believes the Cirrus is the safest small engine airplane out there. He says the parachute feature has saved hundreds of lives in engine failures.
"I think it's probably one of the best ones that is built today because of the safety features," he said.