WEBB, N.Y. (AP/WSYR-TV) - Authorities say two U.S. defense department contractors aboard a small plane that crashed in a remote Adirondacks lake have been rescued, unhurt by helicopters involved in the military exercise they were helping coordinate.
Vermont National Guard Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow says the crash happened during close air support combat training for state guard units east of the Army's Fort Drum.The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
reports the plane -- a 2010 Jabira 4 airplane -- piloted by 34-year-old Benjamin P. Brown, of North Carolina, went down at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Herkimer County's Gull Lake, about 60 miles northeast of Syracuse.
A New York Guard spokesman says two of its Blackhawk helicopters heard the mayday calls and picked up the downed crew members.
Goodrow says the civilian plane was operating under a Department of Defense contract. State Police say the pilot was experiencing a mechanical failure when the plane went down.
State Police discovered the aircraft almost totally submerged in approximately 30 feet of water in Gull Lake. Brown and his passenger, 44-year-old Charles E. Davis, of Utah, were not injured in the crash, police said.
The aircraft reportedly departed Burlington, Vermont and was flying at an altitude of approximately 6,500 feet when it suffered a malfunction, according to State Police.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. State Police, the FAA and forest rangers are assisting in the investigation.