Video: Stunning Rescue of Plane Crash Survivors

SnoCo Sheriff's Office video details rescue operations after a plane went down near Lake Cavanaugh

On the evening of Sunday, Sept. 25, the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) unit was notified of a missing single-engine aircraft with one pilot and one passenger on board. Both occupants were reportedly elderly — the pilot 79 years old and the passenger 78 years old.

The plane left Concrete airport Sunday around 2 pm and was expected to arrive in Snohomish later that afternoon. The plane never arrived and was last seen by another pilot near Sedro Woolley.

WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services flew a Cessna over the area Sunday evening and late into the night attempting to locate a signal from the plane.

Around midnight, WSDOT picked up a locator beacon signal near Lake Cavanaugh.

The Sheriff’s Office SAR team was requested for additional resources to help conduct a more thorough search at daylight. Wildfire smoke in the area prevented a low-level night search.

At 7:30 am Monday, Sept. 26, the Sheriff’s Office rescue helicopter, SnoHawk10, departed Taylor’s Landing and flew towards Lake Cavanaugh.

Shortly after, WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services fixed wing located the crash site of the plane in a heavily wooded area.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, at around 8 am the two occupants heard the rescue helicopter and called “mayday” on their handheld radio.

Aircrews in the search aircraft heard their call and continued searching the area for the occupants.

The pilot and the passenger, 78-year-old and 79-year-old brothers, had walked nearly one mile along a creek bed that night, to a clearing in the woods.

They saw SnoHawk10 flying overhead and directed the helicopter rescue team to their location via radio. SnoHawk10 located the occupants and hoist-extracted them.

Both men were exhausted, but neither appeared to have any serious injuries as a result of the plane crash.

SnoHawk10 transported them to Taylor’s Landing where they were evaluated by Medics from Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue, and greeted by their family members.

The cause of the crash will be investigated by the NTSB.