WHITEWATER — A single-engine airplane that crashed May 15 and became lodged in the canopy of the Kettle Moraine State Forest has finally been removed.

A helicopter was seen Wednesday lifting the wreckage from the treetops in a photo taken by Robert Sivek and posted to the Whitewater Lake Facebook group.

Three people were safely rescued from the plane the night it became stuck 75-feet above the ground.

The Whitewater Fire Department says it was notified of a single engine plane crash at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Saturday May 15, according to a post on the Whitewater Fire Department Facebook page.

Walworth County was initially alerted to the incident by Milwaukee Air Traffic Control after the plane dropped from radar.

The crash was located in the area of Hi-Lo Road in the Kettle Moraine Forest in the town of Whitewater.

A 911 call from the pilot allowed the Walworth County Sheriff’s office to pinpoint the location of the plane near the Ice Age Trail off of County Highway P. It took emergency crews about 45 minutes to locate the crash site and contact the occupants of the plane.

Emergency crews eventually found the plane about 75 feet off the ground in the forest canopy.

The plane had been flying from Sheboygan to Burlington when it lost power and was forced to deploy its emergency parachute, according to the Whitewater Fire Department.

Additional emergency crews were called in, along with Dudek Tree service because of their experience scaling trees.

It took crews about five hours to rescue the occupants utilizing a rope system.

Whitewater Fire Department photo
Whitewater Fire Department photo
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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak launched Walworth County Community News in 2021. He is the former editor of The Week and Walworth County Sunday.