The pilot of a small airplane was rescued by snowmobilers after crash-landing on a frozen lake in southern Wisconsin. Rescue and dive teams from the Rock County sheriff’s department also responded at the scene after the crash was reported last evening. Fortunately the plane did not break through the ice of Lake Koshkonong during the landing and the pilot was safely transported to the shore.
According to a report in the Oshkosh Northwestern, the pilot of the small aircraft was attempting a low pass over the lake when the plane experienced mechanical trouble. The nature of the aircraft’s mechanical trouble is not yet clear, it may have been the result of a maintenance problem, a mechanical defect or an unforeseen failure of some component. Whatever the cause of the mechanical failure, it was significant enough to force the pilot to attempt a landing on the frozen lake.
During the attempted landing, the plane’s landing gear struck a snowdrift. The landing gear’s collision with the snowdrift caused the plane to flip over.
While many people think first of commercial aircraft when they think of aviation accidents, more than ninety percent of aircraft in the United States are general aviation aircraft, such as the one involved in this accident. But general aviation is not limited to small or single engine aircraft such as this. It also includes any flights other than scheduled commercial and military flights. This includes corporate jets, chartered flights and some cargo planes.
Due partially to the prevalence of general aviation aircraft, which log the majority of hours flown in the US, most accidents involve general aviation aircraft rather than commercial planes.
Source: Oshkosh Northwestern “Snowmobilers rescue pilot after plane crash in Jefferson County” February 8, 2011