Sunday, February 19, 2017

Vans RV-9A, N321RC: Accident occurred February 19, 2017 at Alton Bay Seaplane Base (B18), Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Portland, Maine

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA145
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Alton, NH
Aircraft: HITCHEN ROBIN J RV 9, registration: N321RC

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Aircraft on departure from frozen lake field, flipped over.

Date: 19-FEB-17
Time: 18:14:00Z
Regis#: N321RC
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV9A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)

ALTON, N.H. —   Alton Bay was a hot bed of activity for first responders Sunday. A truck fell through the ice, a plane flipped over, and a dog had to be rescued from the icy water.

The bed of the red pickup truck was sticking out of the ice near Sandy Point in Alton.

"The initial report is that people were still in the truck when it was in the water so responded up here," Fish and Game Lt. Mike Eastman said.

No one was injured. Everyone in the truck was able to get out on their before Fish and Game personnel arrived.

But while officers were at the scene, a small plane crashed during takeoff on the ice runway less than a mile away.

"We heard people going 'oh wow, oh wow!' so we looked over and there was a plane just sort of toppling over and it was standing on its nose for a second. Then it just fell right over. It looked like a tin can," said Beth Myer, whose daughter ran to help.

More than a hundred people were in the area celebrating the winter carnival.

"There's a lot of people that went out to help though," said Joshua Hanson, a witness. "There was like 40. They were just running."

"It was the type of plane where the cockpit actually slides back," Eastman said. "There's no door or anything on the outside so the pilot and the passenger were trapped inside the plane at that point."

The good Samaritans helped lift the plane off the ice.

"We couldn't get the hatch back so the pilot said just break the window. I used my baton to the break the window out and we were able to get the pilot and the passenger out," Eastman said.

Neither person was injured. Once they were out safely, the plane was flipped back over and eventually towed away by a snow machine.

Minutes after things started to calm down, a dog became trapped in icy water underneath a dock. The dog appeared to be a stray and was rescued safely after several tense minutes.

Fish and Game officials said it appears the plane hit a snowbank along the runway, causing it to flip. Nobody was injured today but they're urging people to use extreme caution on the ice, especially after the mild weekend. Recently, three people died when their snowmobiles went through the ice in Alton and Moultonborough on Lake Winnipesaukee.

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