Saturday, September 22, 2012

Aircraft makes unexpected landing near Lakeville

The rainy weather led to some scary moments late Saturday morning when a private seaplane had to make an unexpected landing on a St. Joseph County lake.

Police and fire crews from several area departments were called out to Riddles Lake around noon, just south of Lakeville.

Neighbors called 911 after seeing the small plane touch down in the water.

The aircraft, carrying a family of four from Illinois, and another seaplane, were headed to Angola when they hit some rain.

For safety reasons, they decided to land on the lake and wait for things to clear-up, but things went awry when officials say one of the planes hit the water too hard, causing a cable underneath to break.

The pilot was able to maintain some form of control, steering the aircraft toward the lake's shoreline. A maneuver that allowed herself, her husband, and their two small children to safely escape.

“It was very easy, no injuries, no major damage, very fortunate. So I think her experience as a pilot and keeping the family and herself calm was very beneficial in helping the situation not become more serious.” Mark Richter, Indiana Conservation Officer, DNR.

Richter also praised the Lakeville Fire Department for its quick response.

The FAA is investigating the incident.