The father and daughter survivors of a plane crash were rescued early Monday from a frigid, heavily wooded Pennsylvania forest thanks to pings from their personal electronic devices, authorities said.
Pennsylvania State Police said it received a report of a possible plane crash around 8:30 p.m. Sunday and dispatched investigators to the site near Bear Creek Township, about 25 miles south of Scranton, where a plane had disappeared from radar "after a rapid descent."
The single-engine Cessna 150 had taken off from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and crashed to the southeast shortly thereafter, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement. The father and daughter were the only people on the plane.
Pennsylvania State Police spent five hours searching an area identified by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, finally locating two survivors and the plane's wreckage around 2 a.m. Monday morning.
They found the father and daughter thanks to the 58-year-old's cell phone and the 13-year-old's iPad.
Temperatures at the nearby airport hovered around 37 degrees overnight, according to Weather Underground. The two were found in a pre-hypothermic state and transported with injuries to a nearby hospital, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Eric Weiss, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed that the NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash. The NTSB's initial report is expected within a week. A full report could take over a year.
Maj. Andrew Scott, a spokesperson for the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, told NBC News the center can combine the work of multiple agencies across different states, including aviation radar and cell phone forensics, providing a "unique capability" in search and rescue operations.