ST. IGNACE - Michigan State Police St. Ignace Post is investigating the emergency landing of an airplane on the ice of Lake Huron.
At about 8:40 a.m. Monday morning, Great Lakes Air reported that one of their pilots made an emergency landing on the ice of Lake Huron, between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace. The plane came to a stop approximately one and a half miles off of British Landing.
According to F/Lt. Joe Shler, initial investigation determined the single engine Piper plane was carrying six passengers in addition to the pilot. The 29-year-old pilot reported that the plane's engine had quit and he was able to restart it, but then it quit a second time. Not wishing to take further chances, the pilot made an emergency landing on the ice without any injury to occupants or damage to the plane.
The Mackinac Island Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene. Citizens on snowmobiles assisted in getting the passengers and pilot off of the ice quickly, as temperatures were below zero.
Great Lakes Air is making arrangements to have the plane towed off the ice, where it will be examined to determine the cause of the engine failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were both notified of the landing and will be following up with their investigations.
Officers said that one passenger stated the pilot did a fantastic job and the landing was softer than on the runway.
Michigan State Police were assisted in their investigation, which remains under way, by the Mackinac Island police.