MEREDITH, New Hampshire (CBS) — A man flying an ultralight glider plane was pulled from Lake Winnipesaukee after it crashed into the New Hampshire lake. It happened around 3 p.m. Sunday.
The pilot, identified by N.H. State Police as 78-year-old David Grapes of Cental Harbor, N.H., was conscious and alert as he was rescued.
Off-duty Stoneham police officer Joe Ponzo was vacationing at the lake with his family and witnessed the crash. He called the New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol Unit and rushed his boat to the man, who was about 300 feet away.
Ponzo and other boaters pulled Grapes into Ponzo’s boat. First responders were waiting at the shore and Grapes was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.
“I’ve been on the job 23 years, this is one of the most bizarre events I’ve ever seen,” said Ponzo. “It just kind of dropped out of the sky, came nose-first right into the water. I’m like ‘oh my god it just crashed.'”
According to N.H. State Police, the ultralight plane sunk in approximately 65 feet of water. The plane was approximately 1,000 feet above Meredith Bay when the engine stopped.
“It was a close call,” Ponzo continued. “I was there within maybe 30 seconds, the plane was gone.”