2 people survive after helicopter crashes into Cedar Lake: 'it's a miracle'

A helicopter plunged into a lake in northwest Indiana on Monday afternoon with two people on-board – leading to a massive emergency response in the small town.

Just after 1 p.m., Indiana DNR law enforcement officials said the helicopter crashed into Cedar Lake, but miraculously, both occupants survived.

"I live about four doors down from here and we heard the splash in the lake," said David Crane. "I heard it and I stood up, and a few seconds later I got a text from my wife who’s a 911 operator, and she said that there was a plane crash in the lake by our house."

It was a sound that sent neighbors to the shores of Cedar Lake.

"Well I just heard it going over and then my kids called and said, ‘did you hear what’s going on in the lake?’ and so I walked and came down," said Joyce Gluth.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified the aircraft as a Robinson R22 helicopter.


After it went down, it was soon submerged with just one blade popping out of the water.

The area where it plunged into the water is about 8 feet deep and the chopper itself weighs close to 900 pounds.

"And we saw people being rescued on jet skis and taken to the shore," said Crane. "This could have turned out so much differently."

Officials say the occupants of the two-seat helicopter were shaken up but declined medical treatment.

"It’s incredible. It’s a helicopter crashing into a lake in water that you cannot touch the depth in, it’s 8 feet deep," said Indiana Conservation Officer Alex Neel. "So the fact that the helicopter was able to crash and they were okay, and were able to swim to shore is a miracle."

Emergency crews set up a boom to contain anything that may have been leaking from the helicopter, and by 5 p.m. they began pulling the aircraft from the lake.

A search of its tail number through FAA records shows the helicopter belongs to SummerSkyz – a chopper training school and tour company.

The company’s website states that its flights leave from Lansing Municipal Airport in Illinois. When asked for a statement, the business told FOX 32 Chicago they would not be commenting on the incident.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating what caused the crash.

The names of the two occupants have not been released.