EAST TAWAS – Officers from the East Tawas Police Department (ETPD) were called to Tawas Lake after a resident called to report a plane crash in the lake June 14 about 9 p.m.
ETPD arrived at the location and spotted a small airplane upside down in Tawas Lake, about 250 yards offshore. The pilot had climbed out of the plane and was standing on the wing.
ETPD spoke with a witness who was on a pontoon boat near the plane. The witness said he was sitting on his porch when he saw the airplane start to nosedive into the lake, flipping over in the water. The witness and several others jumped into his pontoon and went to assist the pilot.
The pilot, a 54-year-old Whittemore man, was alone in the plane and confirmed he was “OK.”
The pilot said he had landed his Ultra-Glide (small light weight) plane on Tawas Lake and began to use the throttle to gain speed to avoid the weeds. He said he attempted to trim (adjust the flight path to reposition a plane for landing) the airplane when it malfunctioned, causing the airplane to nosedive and flip over in the water. The pilot then exited the airplane and waited for help.
The pilot said he had assistance en route to recover his airplane from the lake.
A Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer didn’t find any fuel or oil that spilled into the water. He later contacted the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and explained what happened.
ETPD remained on the scene until the airplane was recovered from the water and the area was cleared. There were no injuries reported and all debris was removed from the lake.
Assisting were the East Tawas Fire Department, Tawas City Police Department, Michigan State Police and Iosco County Emergency Medical Services.