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Witnessed and responded to a plane crash today

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by sapper77, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. sapper77

    sapper77 Linn County Active Member

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    Some friends and I hiked in to Marion Lake this weekend and were camping right by the lake. At about 10:00 this morning we witnessed a plane crash into the lake about 60 yards straight out from our camp. We ran to the lake and saw 4 people holding onto the wing as it the plane was nose down in the water. I yelled and asked if everyone made it out of the plane and they responded that they had. I asked if they could all swim and they said they could. The plane started to sink quickly and we yelled for them to start swimming. Everyone seemed to be swimming ok so we met them out in the water and helped them basically walk onto shore (the water was fairly shallow for a ways out). I'm medically trained from the military and work in an intensive care unit at a hospital so I started to asses and treat each person for minor injuries, two younger teens and two adults. Pilot complains of being light headed and chest and abdominal pain while the younger teen complains of shoulder pain. Long story short, the pilot was in shock (imagine that) and had only superficial type injuries to his abd and chest. Teen had bruised their shoulder and everyone ended being ok.
    They were able to walk out to the trail head with another group who was getting ready to leave. dry clothing was provided. I put my story into this forum because it really made me think about how you can never be prepared for every situation and by staying calm and using resources around you you can accomplish a lot. Luckily everything turned out ok. If they would have hit the trees or weren’t wearing their seatbelts, or couldn't have swam. etc, etc, it could have ended a lot worse than it did. They entire way home I just kept thinking about all of the "what ifs" both for us as responders and for them as potentially seriously injured people. You can’t predict these things but I think playing out the more common scenarios in your head and having some extra training in medical, wilderness survival, etc. can only help in that one situation that you never expected. All the great gear in the world is useless if you don't know how to use it. You could never carry enough gear with you to cover every potential situation. Having the training for what you can carry and being resourceful and calm will get you a long ways
    dolooper, Nutty4Guns, erudne and 25 others like this.
  2. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    Nice job. They were very lucky, being able to ditch and being so close to shore and having you there. Bravo Zulu, Sapper!
    Sgt Nambu and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Good work! Glad to hear everyone is OK. I have to wonder how they will go about removing the plane from the lake or if they will bother...
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Swedish K, Marion Lake is in the Jefferson Wilderness Area I am sure that some how that plane and its fluids will be removed from the lake.
  5. sapper77

    sapper77 Linn County Active Member

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    We asked one of the rangers waht the SOP is for removing a plane from a mountain lake. He had no idea. I'm sure you're right though. They cant just leave it in the lake. It would be a cool thing to watch a helicopter remove it.
  6. GOG

    GOG State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Well done! :thumbup:
  7. waterfowler0814

    waterfowler0814 Portland New Member

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    Right on Sapper77, I was right there next to you when that plane went down. Absolutely surreal scene but glad that you and your buddies had the training to assess their injuries on the spot.
  8. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    How was the camping along side Marion lake.
    Many years ago, I spent a fair amount of time camping there and up the trail at Lake of the Woods / Whiskey lake area.
    I met a couple of guys who had found a cave in the rock slide on the SW side of Marion Lake near the West camping area.
    They stashed all of their camping gear and a two man inflatable raft inside it and covered up the entrance with rocks.
    Anytime they felt like fishing, they would hike in with some beer and snacks and uncover all of the gear that you would normally have to lug in.
    They caught some really big trout trolling out in the middle of the lake.
    I always wondered if their gear is still up there.
  9. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Stand up job, sapper!
  10. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Just saw a blurb on KATU about it. Good job!
  11. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Well Done!! :thumbup:
  12. CoastRange57

    CoastRange57 Western Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good that you were able to help and there. Read this in the paper this morning, and as a former pilot a few things seem odd.

    Now not knowing exactly what kind of 4 seat Cessna it was, unless it was a 182 or a 180 with an upgraded engine, I am probably not going to take 4 people up there in a Skyhawk. 4 people with 1/2 a fuel load is pretty much a max load at sea level,and at altitude and hot air it is even going to be less, with a host of other issues that can come into play. That being said, the pilot did one hell of a job putting it down and every one getting out safely. Extremely lucky.

    I used to scout elk that way also, but the way most herds move, it really does not matter where they are at today, because tomorrow they are 10 miles somewhere else.

    I ran the same profile in Flight Sim and with his load out the aircraft performed fine. Rate of climb was anemic, air speed so- so, and I would not look to be doing any sudden climb profiles, so the mechanical failure seems likely. Better over the lake than the surrounding terrain.
    erudne and (deleted member) like this.