‘It’s a miracle’: iPad helps locate father and daughter after plane crash in Luzerne County

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BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A plane crashed in Luzerne County and the two people on board were found alive, after an hours-long search.

Investigators learned of the crash around 8:30 p.m. Sunday night and they say they found the father and daughter all thanks to an iPad.

“This was a miracle. Those two individuals are very lucky,” said Chief James Serafin, Bear Creek Volunteer Hose Company.

A 58-year-old man and his 13-year-old daughter took off from Pocono Mountain Municipal Airport, performed a ‘touch and go’ at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, and were on their way back to the Poconos when their plane crashed in the middle of state game lands in Bear Creek Township.

“With the help of the United States Air Force, they were able to track a better location using several pings. Actually using the cellphone of the pilot and the daughter’s iPad. And the iPad actually led us right to the crash site,” said Sgt. John G. Richards, Pennsylvania State Police.

So at this point, search crews knew where the plane went down. Next, they had to make their way through state game lands to the site of the crash.

“You’re dealing with the woods, the swamps, the hills, rocks, boulders, you ‘re dealing with all kinds of terrain up here,” said Chief Serafin.

“The daughter saved both of them by using her iPad. Dad was cuddling his daughter to give her warmth because they were both exposed to the elements and were suffering from hypothermia at the time,” said Cheif Serafin.

He says in his 28 years with Pennsylvania State Police, he has never been to the scene of a plane crash with survivors.

According to the FAA, “A single-engine Cessna 150 crashed in a wooded area southeast of Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport (AVP) in Avoca, Penn., Sunday evening. Two people were on board.”

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) shortly after 7:30 p.m. local time Sunday to public safety agencies to alert them about the missing aircraft. Local authorities found the aircraft at 2:03 a.m. local time today. The flight departed AVP for Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport in Tobyhanna, Penn. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate,” The FAA states.  

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