Small plane crashes into lake: 2 men hospitalized after rescue by nearby boaters

Published on Friday, 4 July 2014 23:19 - Written by Emily Guevara

LAKE PALESTINE — Two men were recovering in a Tyler hospital after the plane they were flying in crashed into Lake Palestine on Friday.

Pilot Gary Buster, 56, of Frankston, and passenger Aaron Buster, 31, of Greenville, were rescued by nearby boaters and taken to East Texas Medical Center where they were listed in fair and good conditions, respectively, as of Friday evening.

The red-colored Zenith Zodiac CH 601-HDS crashed into the lake about 2:30 p.m.  Saturday's edition originally identified the plane incorrectly. 

Gayla Leary with the Aero Estates Homeowners Association said it’s not clear what caused the plane to go down, but it crashed as it was heading to the Berryville Airstrip from a fly-in in Mineola.

Capt. Quint Balkcom, with Texas Parks and Wildlife, said some boaters saw the plane lose power before crashing.

Balkcom said investigators started using side scan sonar to scan the lake bottom in an effort to find the plane.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the agency will begin an investigation once the plane is removed from the water.

FAA records show the plan is owned by a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, resident. A call to a listed phone number for the resident was not returned by deadline Friday.


Olivia Levoy with KYTX CBS19 contributed to this report.