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US Air Force plane found: Underwater explorers discover aircraft which crashed into Lake Ontario in 1952

The team found the plane using sonar equipment
  • @kashmiragander

Underwater explorers in Canada believe they have discovered the wreckage of a US Air Force aeroplane that crashed into Lake Ontario over 60 years ago.

Team member Jim Kennard said he, and fellow explorers Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens, discovered the plane wreck on 27 June.

The men found the nearly intact plane in deep water using side-scan sonar equipment, while searching for historic shipwrecks on the lake's eastern end

On 11 September, 1952, the C-45 plane was taking part in a routine flight from Massachusetts to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York, when its left engine failed about 50 miles from its destination.

As the plane started to lose altitude, the pilot ordered the other two Air Force officers on board and two civilians to parachute from the aircraft at 2,500 feet. All five landed safely, according to Jim Kennard.

With a lightened load, the twin-engine aircraft then flew on automatic pilot for over an hour, traveling for miles and changing course into open waters. It then crashed several miles northwest of the city of Oswego, New York, on Lake Ontario's southern shore, witnesses reported at the time.

Teams aboard Coast Guard ships and Air Force planes called off their search for the wreckage after two days.

"All of sudden, 'ho, what's that?'" Kennard told reporters of the moment the crew discovered the wreckage. "Then you see the sonar image of the plane, then you say 'wow.'"

The team was surprised when the sonar found the wreck farther from shore than what the witnesses indicated, Kennard added.

The US Air Force did not have an immediate comment on the discovery.

Additional reporting by AP