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Plane crashes into lake home



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July 25, 2012 - On Saturday afternoon Bob and Charmaine Kerchner were sitting in their family room in their home on the east shore of Lake Shinanguag.

"It was a hot day," said Bob, 77, who was a private pilot. "There was an ultra light float plane buzzing around the lake in the afternoon—travelling north to south in front of the house. I watched him make a turn out over the lake and he came right toward the house."

Charmaine noticed the small plane out over the lake.

"The pilot made a sharp turn," she said. "Then I thought, 'He's going to end up in our big trees in front of the house.' Then I realized he's (the pilot) not going to make it. It just happened so fast. I was in shock."

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The ultralight plane came into the Kerchner's trees and dropped down into a large plate glass window only a few feet from where Bob was seated. The impact of the plane shattered a plate glass window and sent glass toward Bob and Charmaine.

"He should have landed the plane in the water," said Bob. "He ended up in our trees and family room."

Bob received several cuts and abrasions to his face. Several neighbors arrived following the crash and provided first aid treatment.

Atlas Township Fire Chief Fred Forys said they arrived at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday following the crash..

"The plane was up against the house when I arrived," he said.

"We did help take a little girl, a passenger in the ultralight, out of the plane. Her grandfather was flying when it crashed. He was OK, although shaken."

Groveland Township EMS transported the 11-year-old girl to Genesys Regional Medical Center. Her condition is unknown.

"The ultralight was picked up in several pieces and put on a flatbed truck and hauled out," he said.

"I think part of the wing of it is still up in the tree."

The pilot, who flew the ultralight from Lake Shinanguag, could not be reached for comment.

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