Two people suffer minor injuries in Conestogo Lake plane crash

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Officials say the incident involved a homebuilt amphibious aircraft

20 August 2019 by Brent Davis, Waterloo Region Record

Wellington County OPP, Mapleton Fire/Rescue and Guelph Wellington Paramedic Services responded to an airplane crash on Conestogo Lake in Mapleton Township on Tuesday morning. – Wellington County OPP

CONESTOGO LAKE — Two people were lucky to escape with minor injuries after their amphibious plane crash-landed on Conestogo Lake on Tuesday.

Emergency crews responded to the crash northwest of Elmira shortly before 11 a.m., where the small homebuilt aircraft had crashed upon landing a short distance from shore, said Mapleton Fire Rescue Chief Rick Richardson.

“The pilot and passenger were assisted out of the plane by people on a boat passing by,” he said. The crash occurred in an area where there weren’t cottages nearby, and the plane’s occupants were taken to a dock where they were assisted by first responders.

Wellington County OPP said the 71-year-old pilot and the 61-year-old passenger were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Police said the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, based in Trenton, and the Transportation Safety Board were notified.

Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Chris Krepski said the aircraft is a SeaRey; manufactured by Progressive Aerodyne and available in a kit for customers to build at home, it’s billed as an “amphibious flying boat.”

In a photo provided by the OPP, the aircraft appears largely intact but partially submerged, with a rope attached as it’s pulled to shore.

Aircraft damage is being evaluated, but the Transportation Safety Board is not deploying to the scene and a formal investigation isn’t being launched, said Krepski. The agency will gather information on the incident that could be used for statistical analysis in future, he said.