Small plane skids into Lake Aeroflex
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP. The occupants of a Cessna escaped serious harm after the aircraft skidded off the runway on July 5.


A Cessna ended up in Aeroflex Lake on Friday, July 5, 2019, after skidding off the runway. (Photos by Mandy Coriston)

By Mandy Coriston
A Cessna C-172 Skyhawk took a hard landing at Aeroflex-Andover Airport on Friday afternoon, July 5, skidding from the runway, down the embankment behind the Slater House, and into the water at the south end of the lake. The single-engine craft, registered to John Peterson of Hopatcong, was traveling from Harrisburg, PA to Morristown, NJ when it was diverted to the Aeroflex Airport due to flight restrictions surrounding President Trump’s trip to his Bedminister golf club. The plane incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. All four occupants, two adults and two children, escaped serious harm and were retrieved from the sinking aircraft by a nearby fisherman.
Andover Township Chief of Police Eric Danielson said the pilot had made two previous attempts to land, and that the accident took place on the third try. The plane’s passengers were treated by crews from the Lakeland Emergency Squad at the scene and refused additional medical attention. Divers from the New Jersey State Police assisted by a large wrecker from D&E Towing began immediate recovery of the aircraft, which was removed from the lake at approximately 6 p.m. The FAA is slated to begin an investigation on Monday.
Chief Danielson said the rescue and recovery went as smoothly as could be expected in such a scenario.
“We’re grateful that the fisherman was there to help the family before the plane sank," he said. "And we’re happy that all the responders were able to do what they needed to do in such a timely manner, the plane is recovered, and everyone’s okay.”