Press-Republican

Local News

March 1, 2013

Cuomo commends rangers for plane-crash rescue

ALBANY — The forest rangers and a dispatcher instrumental in the rescue of three men in the Adirondacks after a plane crash last week were recognized by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an event in Albany.

He commended them “for their heroic efforts to save the lives of the survivors in sub-zero temperatures,” according to a release from the Governor’s Office.

Honored were Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 Forest Rangers Lt. Charles Platt, Kevin Burns, Peter Evans, James Giglinto, Thomas Gliddi, Chris Kostoss, Joseph LaPierre, David Russell and Scott VanLaer and dispatcher Alicia Bodmer.

The four-seater amateur-built plane crashed on the evening of Feb. 21 about a mile off Adirondack Loj Road in North Elba, near Burn Mountain. 

Michael Oster, 54; Jeff O’Connor, 58; and Frank Dombroski, 51; all of Westfield, N.J., were not injured and were able to call 911.

The rescue effort was first focused on a spot near Nye Mountain due to confusion over coordinates given to the dispatcher by the stranded men.

At about 1:55 a.m. Friday, a team of rangers reached the crash site, first traveling by snowmobile via the Jack Rabbit Trail and then bushwhacking their way in on snowshoes the last half mile.

The stranded men, who had erected a tarp as some protection from the weather, were taken out by snowmobile.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said the rescue “is just the latest example of how vital our forest rangers are when a crisis strikes. 

“They are specially trained, and they are special men and women.”

The National Traffic Safety Board is investigating to determine what caused the crash.

Email Suzanne Moore: smoore@pressrepublican.com

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