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Man Survives Plane Crash into Lake Winnipesaukee

The Sudbury, MA pilot misjudged his elevation and one seaplane pontoon caught the surface.

NH Department of Safety photo.
NH Department of Safety photo.

A small plane crashed into Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, with emergency responders quickly rescuing the pilot as he clung to the aircraft.

New Hampshire Marine Patrol received a 911 call around 12:30 p.m. April 22. Shortly before 1 p.m., Marine Patrol responding to the scene found the pilot, submerged from the waist down, clinging to the plane. He was the sole occupant.

The plane crashed in the area known as The Broads in the town of Alton.

Vadim Gayshan, 59, of Sudbury, Mass., was rescued and taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia. He told investigators he had flown out of Fitchburg, Mass., and was looking at ice conditions on Lake Winnipesaukee, flying about 300 or 400 feet above the lake, when he started to do "touch and go's" on the pontoon aircraft, when he misjudged his elevation.

Police said one pontoon caught on the water and caused a nose-first crash.

The plane is currently submerged in 105 feet of water.

NH Marine Patrol is working with NH Department of Environmental Services, Alton Fire Department and Dive Winnipesaukee to retrieve the plane.

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