Off-duty officer rescues pilot after NH crash

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 7:54 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 10:59 AM EDT
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MEREDITH BAY, N.H. (WCAX) - An off-duty police officer is a hero after helping save a man who crashed in a plane on Lake Winnipesaukee.

It happened at about 3 p.m. Sunday. Authorities say the ultralight plane took a nose dive into Meredith Bay and started sinking in about 65 feet of water.

Off-duty Stoneham Police Ofc. Joe Ponzo was vacationing at the lake with his family and witnessed the crash. He jumped into action, helping get the pilot up onto his boat.

“I’ve been on the job for 23 years, this was one of the most bizarre events I’ve ever seen, I’ve ever witnessed, if you’ve ever witnessed a plane crash. I’m still shaken, to be honest with you,” said Ponzo.

The pilot has been identified as David Grapes, 78. He was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

The crash remains under investigation.

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