Missing Father, Daughter Found Alive After Plane Crash Thanks to iPad Ping

Cessna 150 Single Engine Plane Credit: KenSoftTH / Shutterstock
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It was a nightmare scenario. Shortly after takeoff, a small engine plane that departed Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania, went missing. The aircraft went off the radar and was nowhere to be found. If it wasn’t for an iPad on the plane, the two crash victims could have suffered from grave injuries and possibly even died following the accident.

The Cessna 150 plane was piloted by a 58-year-old man who was traveling with his 13-year-old daughter. The duo disappeared off the radar shortly after takeoff. Authorities immediately began a search and rescue mission using the plane’s last known location, but their efforts were in vain. The thickly wooded terrain and cold, snowy nighttime weather hindered them during their five-hour search.

Authorities were able to identify the pilot, likely from the flight log, and contacted the pilot’s wife. His wife was anxiously awaiting the pair at their destination when she was received word that her husband and daughter were missing. She shared her husband’s phone number and information about her daughter’s iPad with rescuers. It was the iPad that was key to finding the missing family members.

“They (rescue team) were able to ping the cell phone and they found out that the daughter had an iPad and with certain iPads, you’re able to ping signals to it and once we got that coordinate, that’s where we located them,” said Bear Creek Volunteer Hose Company Chief James Serafin to CNN.

Thanks to the coordinates from the iPad, rescuers were able to hone in on the crash location. Rescuers found the pair still alive with only minor injuries. They were huddled together to stay warm and were pre-hypothermic when they were found.

Without the iPad location information, rescuers may not have found the father and daughter so quickly, and the story may not have had such a happy ending.

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