Plane makes emergency landing on Lake Norman

Plane makes emergency landing on Lake Norman

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff
E-mail Us: NEWS@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 7:07 AM

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C.—A small plane made an emergency landing on Lake Norman Tuesday evening.

Courtney and Charlie Rowe spend their summer on Lake Norman.  They knew something was wrong when they saw helicopters flying over the water Tuesday night.  They had no idea just how bizarre the circumstances were.

"It was a shock.  You don't anticipate that happening.  The planes always fly around here, but you don't expect one to crash," said Courney Rowe.

But that's exactly what happened.  According to the Highway Patrol, Mark Okkerse was flying a single engine plane from Greensboro to Lake Norman, when the plane experienced engine problems.

"He said the plane stalled," said Trooper L.C. Crouse.  "He had to figure out the best place to land it."

Turns out, the best place was in the water near the Lake Norman airstrip he was heading toward.

Okkerse was able to land the plane in the water, and make it out alive.  The plane submerged and couldn't' be seen Tuesday night.

Charlie Rowe took NewsChannel 36 up to the crash site in his boat.  "I'm seeing police boats hanging out in the channel with their lights on.  We are in 50 feet of water right here," he said.

No one was hurt in the water, but rescue boats scoured the area.   The FAA is expected to review the crash site on Wednesday and recovery teams will try to bring up the plane.

Okkerse was not available for interviews, but Crouse said he was rescued by a pontoon boat floating in the water.

 

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