Dramatic plane-crash rescue in the Adirondacks

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is praising first responders after a dramatic rescue of three stranded people after a small plane crash in the Adirondacks near Lake Placid yesterday.

“The actions last night of Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, State Police, and local emergency personnel demonstrated the unwavering dedication and tireless commitment of our state’s first responders to protecting New Yorkers and those who visit our state,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“Responding to a small plane crash near Lake Placid, a team of DEC Forest Rangers walked miles in the bitter cold and dark through rough terrain to find and safely rescue three individuals who were in the aircraft.”

AP has more on the rescue here:

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — An experimental aircraft crashed into a wooded area just outside the village of Lake Placid, leaving three men to spend more than 10 hours in frigid conditions before they could be rescued early Friday.

The men, all in their 50s and all from Westfield, N.J., were checked out by an ambulance crew but declined additional medical treatment when state forest rangers brought them out of the woods on snowmobiles around 4 a.m. Friday, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Agency spokesman David Winchell said state police contacted a department dispatcher around 6:30 p.m. Thursday seeking forest rangers to head to the scene of a plane crash in a wooded area near the Lake Placid Airport, just south of the village. The men on board the Vans RV-10 experimental aircraft had used a cellphone to call Essex County emergency dispatchers and provide coordinates of the crash site, Winchell said.

A state police helicopter dispatched from nearby Lake Clear Airport was unable to reach the crash site because of weather conditions and darkness.

The men’s information placed the crash site at Nye Mountain, near the airport. Rangers reached the site around 2 a.m., Winchell said. The men had used extra clothing and a tarp to stay warm in temperatures that dipped into the single digits, he said.

Officials identified the men as Michael Oster, 54; Jeff O’Connor, 58; and Frank Dombroski, 51.

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