After a single-engine plane crashed in Pennsylvania, a father and his teenage daughter became lost for hours. They are fortunate to be alive, thanks to their iPads, and a series of miraculous circumstances.
“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 said. “They had to go through trees and everything else. It definitely was a miracle.”
“I can honestly say, I think every rescuer out there was planning this to be a recovery rather than a rescue, and nobody was more surprised than when I first got to the airplane and found they were alive,” Sgt. John Richards, from the Pennsylvania State Police, added.
The two passengers were a 58-year-old father and his 13-year-old daughter, who flew in a Cessna 150 from Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport on Sunday. When the disaster occurred, they were doing a touch-and-go at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport on their way back to Pocono.
The single-engine plane crashed into the woods of Bear Creek Township’s state game areas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, around 6:30 p.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration called Pennsylvania State Police around 8:40 p.m. Sunday, claiming the plane “had dropped off their radar after a rapid descent.” Authorities initially assumed the jet had landed somewhere in Monroe County.
The United States Air Force determined that the jet had crashed in Luzerne County, but no one knew where exactly.
Rescue crews and about 30 other individuals began a grid search in the woods after pinging the plane’s last known location, being careful not to spread out too much because it was evening time, cold, and snowy.
Snow blanketed the environment and the already white plane was encased in a blanket of white, making it hard to locate the crashed jet using a drone. Heat detectors were also ineffective because the aircraft had cooled, reported Western Journal.
Serafin claimed that once the pilot was identified, rescuers phoned his wife, who had been waiting for her husband and daughter at their destination, and obtained 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 two were discovered in a pre-hypothermic state with minor injuries. “They were huddled with each other trying to keep each other warm,” Serafin said.
They were carried to a hospital, and their present condition is unknown, but many applaud their survival as a miracle.
“The hands of God. I’m not trying to be you evasive of your question, but the only reason why those two were alive is because of God’s presence,” Richards said. “And the only way I can explain it is because there has to be a higher being that was taking care of them.”
The collision resulted in no casualties, and the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause.