|Update: Canadian Family Safe After Small
Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Lewis County
By: Nick Altmire (email@example.com)
|Lewis County's 24/7 Home for News,
Sports, Weather, Events & More
plane made an emergency landing late Sunday afternoon, near the intersection
of Willow Grove and Number Three Roads in the Town of Lowville.
Lewis County Undersheriff Jason McIntosh said that Patrice Makinen, 47, of
Quebec, was flying a 2003 Cirrus SR-22 aircraft, with a female passenger
identified as Julie Charlebois, also of Quebec, and their five-month-old child, on
their way to Massena for refueling. The couple had previously departed from
Georgia, with the last refueling stop in Pennsylvania, and were en route back to
Mr. Makinen had to divert his route to avoid restricted airspace around the Rome
area, taking off the autopilot setting. At an altitude of around 9,000 feet, he
encountered heavy clouds associated with a lake effect snow band over Lewis
County. Mr. Makinen apparently became disoriented coming in and out of the
clouds and noticed a change in pitch in the engine sound.
At that point he decided to make an emergency landing and deployed the
aircraft's Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). With no control over the
location of the landing, the plane luckily ended up making an upright landing into
a field off the Willow Grove Road.
The Sheriff's office received calls to the dispatch center alerting them to a plane
with a parachute deployed making a landing in the field. Officials from Fort
Drum's Wheeler Sack Airfield also contacted the Sheriff's Office to notify them
that they had received a Mayday call, providing officers with the coordinates.
"It's a miracle they ended up landing where they did," Undersheriff McIntosh said.
All three occupants were transported to Lewis County General Hospital for a
precautionary evaluation, with no injuries reported.
First responders were concerned that the plane would flip over given the windy
conditions and the parachute still being attached to the plane. A tracked UTV
was requested to the scene so responders could cut the parachute.
Unfortunately, prior to the UTV's arrival, a gust of wind caught the parachute,
flipping the plane end-over-end onto its top. No one was in the plane at that time,
and no injuries were reported. The plane is now thought to be totaled after the
damage caused from flipping over.
Fuel is slowly leaking from the plane, with approximately 50 gallons still in each
wing. The NYS DEC was notified and are on scene.
Mr. Makinen is the owner of the plane, which was insured. Undersheriff McIntosh
said investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration will be on scene on
Tuesday. After they clear the scene, the aircraft will be transported to a hangar in
Watertown for the insurance company to evaluate.
The family spent last evening in Lowville, and obtained a rental car this morning
to return home to Quebec.
Undersheriff McIntosh said four officers from the Sheriff's Office responded to the
scene, along with Copenhagen Fire, Lewis County Search & Rescue and
Director of Lewis County Emergency Management Robert MacKenzie.