KEY POINTS

  • The plane went missing from the radar shortly after takeoff
  • The girl's iPad helped the team find their exact location
  • The father and daughter were in a pre-hypothermic state when rescuers found them

A man and his daughter who were stranded in a heavily wooded area for hours after a plane crash have been rescued, thanks to the girl's iPad. The rescue teams were able to locate the duo by tracking the signal from the iPad.

The 58-year-old man and his 13-year-old daughter, whose identities were not revealed, took off from Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport in Pennsylvania in a twin-seater single-engine Cessna 150 on Sunday, CNN reported. However, the single-engine plane went missing on radar shortly after its departure, said the Pennsylvania State Police. The man, who was also the pilot, and the girl were the only passengers on the aircraft. 

Police, along with the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, started a search operation soon after the plane went missing.

"From what I hear and see, you don't really hear of survivors, especially in the area that they crashed, it's very heavily wooded," Chief James Serafin with the Bear Creek Volunteer Hose Company said at the time.

They pinged the last known location of the plane, and rescue teams, along with 30 volunteers, went out for a grid search in the woods. They remained careful and didn't spread out too far since it was evening time. It was also cold because of the snow, but they didn't have to search for too long for the passengers. 

small plane Cessna 182 A Cessna 182 plane | representational image. Photo: Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

The passengers were found five hours later in a heavily wooded area about seven miles southeast of Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport. "They had to go through trees and everything else. It definitely was a miracle," said Serafin. 

Once the rescue crew identified the pilot of the plane, they reached out to his wife, who was waiting for her husband and daughter at their arrival destination, Serafin said. She gave them the man's cell phone number. The officers immediately pinged the number, and sure enough, they got a signal.

"They (rescue team) were able to ping the cell phone and they found out that the daughter had an iPad and with certain iPads, you're able to ping signals to it and once we got that coordinate, that's where we located them," he said.

The father-daughter duo was in a pre-hypothermic state and suffered minor injuries, police said. "They were huddled with each other trying to keep each other warm," Serafin said. 

They were taken to a hospital immediately. They are recovering now, Serafin added. 

There are no fatalities in the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.