Helicopter pilot recounts lifting stranded plane out of Quabbin Reservoir

CONCORD, N.H. (WHDH) — A helicopter pilot recounted to 7News how he managed to lift a stranded plane off a sandbar in the Quabbin Reservoir.

The plane’s pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on the sandbar after he said he encountered engine trouble while flying from Rhode Island to Vermont. Carl Svenson, who has been flying for 26 years, then came in to lift the plane out of the reservoir; the sandbar was in the middle of almost 39 square miles of water.

The other problem was the soft sand on the sandbar, making landing difficult.

“He was very lucky he was able to get it slowed down enough before he sank in, otherwise he probably would have flipped the plane over,” said Svenson.

Svenson said huge tethers were used to secure the single-engine plane to his helicopter and lift it into the air. A 15-minute flight brought the plane back to Orange Airport. Svenson got a chance to meet the pilot afterwards.

“He thanked me immensely for it,” said Svenson. “He was very happy about it. He looked his plane over and we did not do any damage at all.”

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