Divers Find 1952 Plane Wreck in Lake

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) -
The wreck of a U.S. Air Force C-45 that crashed more than 60 years ago. (AP Photo/Roger Pawlowski)
The wreck of a U.S. Air Force C-45 that crashed more than 60 years ago. (AP Photo/Roger Pawlowski)

The wreck of a U.S. Air Force twin-engine plane that crashed into eastern Lake Ontario more than 60 years ago has been found in deep water off Oswego, a team of underwater explorers said Tuesday.

The Beach Aircraft C-45 flew for miles on its own after its three-man crew and two civilian passengers bailed out when one of the engines failed during a flight over New York in 1952. The aircraft flew on automatic pilot for more than an hour before it crashed into the lake near Syracuse.

A trio of explorers said they located the nearly intact plane in more than 150 feet of water while searching for historic shipwrecks on June 27.

The plane was on a routine flight on Sept. 11, 1952, to Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y., when the left engine began failing about 50 miles from its destination. As the plane started to lose altitude, the pilot believed it would soon crash and ordered the others to parachute at 2,500 feet and set the auto pilot to steer the plane clear of inhabited areas. All five landed safely.

The lightened plane gained altitude and changed course, heading out over open water. Witnesses reported seeing it crash into the lake about a mile off Oswego.