Updated 08/01/2011 07:32 PM
Gouverneur pilot who survived crash is back home
It's a survival story that some are calling a miracle. A Gouverneur pilot survives a plane crash and a night in the cold waters of Lake Huron. Michael Trapp has returned to New York after days in a Michigan hospital and as our Rachael Paradis tells us, his night facing ten foot waves will not stop him from flying again.
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Michael Trapp has faced death and survived not once, but twice.
Michael Trapp said, "You have to focus on the survival aspect."
The 42-year-old pilot left the small town of Gouverneur on a two seater plane last Tuesday afternoon. He was heading toward Wisconsin to visit family.
Just a few hours into his trip, he made a call to the Coast Guard. He was having engine problems. Shortly after, he lost communication and his plane crashed into Lake Huron.
Trapp said, "It was just a horrific accident."
The plane crash was just the beginning. Trapp was then in cold waters without a life jacket. He tried to use his pants as a flotation device, but that failed.
Trapp spent 18 hours treading water and facing ten foot waves. Whenever a boat was close he would wave his sock in the air. Several boats passed him by without catching a glimpse of the sock. It wasn't until the next morning that he was spotted and rescued. Trapp says his legs were so weak, he had to be dragged onto the boat.
Trapp said, "It feels good. It feels good to be on dry ground I tell you."
Trapp spent a few days in the hospital recovering before driving back to New York with his family. He got back into Gouverneur late Sunday night, greeted by a parade and many who are thankful to have him home.
Trapp's father-in-law, Richard Card said, "I missed him I can tell you that."
Trapp said, "I cried of course. Who doesn't love their family?"
Trapp's wife asked him to stay out of the water and get a Harley instead, but he says the experience will not keep grounded.
Trapp said, "I will fly again. I love flying."
Trapp says his wife has saved his hospital tags and the sock to remember what he survived, but as for his plane, it will stay at the bottom of Lake Huron.
Despite the near-death experience, Trapp is very good-natured about it all. In fact, his friends brought him gifts including a life jacket and a beach towel.
As for all the media attention, after the crash, he had requests from about 70 different media outlets the day after it happened.