On Sunday, a plane leaving from Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania, went missing on radar shortly after its departure, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
The pilot, a 58-year-old man, and a 13-year-old girl were the only passengers in the two-seat, single-engine Cessna 150, police said.
A five-hour general search ensued, a joint effort with the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, according to police. The plane and its passengers were found in a heavily wooded area about 7 miles southeast of Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.
“From what I hear and see, you don’t really hear of survivors, especially in the area that they crashed, it’s very heavily wooded,” Chief James Serafin with the Bear Creek Volunteer Hose Company told CNN. “They had to go through trees and everything else. It definitely was a miracle.”
After pinging the last known location of the plane, rescue teams and about 30 other people started doing a grid search in the woods, being careful to not spread out too far since it was evening time, cold and snowy, but their search came up short.
Once rescue crews identified the pilot, they contacted his wife, who had been waiting for her husband and daughter at their destination, Serafin said, and got the man’s cell phone number.
“They (rescue team) were able to ping the cell phone and they found out that the daughter had an iPad and with certain iPads, you’re able to ping signals to it and once we got that coordinate, that’s where we located them,” he said.
The pair were found in a pre-hypothermic state and suffered minor injuries, police said. Due to their injuries, the two are still recovering in the hospital, said Serafin.
“They were huddled with each other trying to keep each other warm,” Serafin said.
No fatalities occurred in the crash and its cause is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
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