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Three Survive Sub-Freezing Conditions After RV-10 Accident

Friends Had Been Flying To A Ski Location When Their Plane Went Down

Three friends heading out for a weekend of skiing in upstate New York wound up spending most of a night fighting off cold weather and snow after the RV-10 they were flying went down in a rugged, wooded area near Lake Placid, NY.

The three friends had departed Somerset Airport in Bedminster, NJ, on Thursday heading to Lake Placid, NY, a flight they had reportedly taken before. Kate O'Connor, the daughter of one of the co-owners of the RV-10, said it had been daylight above the clouds, but when they slipped underneath on their approach, the pilot became disoriented.

The Associated Press reports that officials identified the men as Michael Oster, 54; Jeff O'Connor, 58; and Frank Dombroski, 51, all of Westfield in Union County, N.J., It was not reported who was acting as PIC of the airplane at the time it went down.

The online news site NJ.com reports that the airplane was slowed as it impacted trees, and then came to rest at about a 30-degree nose-down angle in a mountainous area. None of the men were seriously injured, but the area has no access trails. The contacted officials by cell phone, but the coordinates they gave were in a format not used by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, which initially began searching in the wrong area. An aerial search was abandoned as darkness fell and the weather continued to deteriorate.

The three used a tarp and extra clothing to ward off the snow and temperatures that fell into the single digits. They were finally found about 0200 EST near Big Burn Mountain west of Lake Placid and carried out by snowmobile. The three said they were fine and refused further treatment.

(Image provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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