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Piper Cub crashes travelling from EAA AirVenture show

July 26, 2011, Friendship, Wisc. - Two people died Monday when a small plane traveling from the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture in Oshkosh plunged into Lake Winnebago.


July 26, 2011
By Green Bay Press Gazette

Boaters could see the face of the female passenger inside the submerged vessel but were powerless to help until dive team members arrived, said Donna Klein, an employee at Wendt's Marine, N9691 Lake Shore Drive.

The Piper Cub registered to Tri Star Aviation Services Inc., based in Wilmington, Del., crashed at 11:49 a.m. Monday about a half-mile off the west shore near Wendt's On the Lake, N9699 Lake Shore Drive. Wendt's is about 10 miles north of Fond du Lac.

Robert Abraham, 90, of the town of Friendship, saw the plane crash. He said the plane was headed south when it hit the water and spun 180 degrees and ended up facing north.

"I saw a big splash. It happened so quick," Abraham said. "I have never seen anything like it.

"I was watching it with a scope while I was on the porch. (Boaters) tried to get a rope down to the plane," he added.

Abraham called Scott Klein, owner of Wendt's Marine, who immediately boarded a pontoon boat and met two fishermen at the crash scene, said Donna Klein.

Scott Klein reached the crash scene to find the plane submerged in 6½-feet of water. A rescue team arrived a short time later.

While Klein waited, ready to offer any assistance he could with the rescue effort, he saw the passengers were trapped inside the plane.

"It's too bad," Klein said. "If this had happened 100 yards east, it would have been in 3½ feet of water."

Dive team members pulled two people from the Piper Cub within an hour of the crash, but both were pronounced dead at the scene, said Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink.