Two men were injured after their single-engine, two-seat plane crashed Saturday on Littlefield Lake in northern Isabella County, sheriff’s officials said.
The pilot, Tyrone Finch, 54, of Tennessee and his passenger, Patrick Jarman, 62, of Deerfield Township, were transported to a local hospital after the crash, according to the Isabella County Sheriff’s Office.
Jarman was later flown by helicopter to a hospital in Grand Rapids and was listed in serious condition.
Marine deputies patrolling the area on Jet Skis witnessed the plane attempt to take off from the lake, the sheriff’s office said. When the plane became airborne, it appeared to struggle to gain altitude.
Officials say the area was experiencing strong wind gusts that possibly interfered with the plane’s takeoff.
Deputies then observed the plane turn, get stuck in a tree and take a nosedive into the water.
As deputies approached the plane, they observed boaters from another vessel in the area helping the two men out of the cockpit. Deputies went into the water and helped get the victims to a nearby pontoon boat, which took them to shore.
The plane was upside down in the water for several hours. It was removed after personal flotation tubes were placed under the wings to keep it from sinking. Once the flotation devices were secured to the wings, the plane was pulled to a docking area.
The plane was later taken to an impound yard.