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Posted: 9:27 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013
WILKES COUNTY, N.C. —
Larry Minton's family's shared slices of pie Thursday, a simple celebration of his homecoming after surviving a plane crash in Alaska. Last week, the avid hunter traveled to Alaska to catch moose. His camera was rolling when the J3 Cub aircraft went down. "Me and Pat had a little engine trouble," Minton said. "When it made racket, I knew we was going down. When it was going down, I just asked God to put us in a safe spot, and He did. We landed safe." The aircraft flipped when it hit soft ground, but Minton and the pilot weren't injured. After waiting a day and a half at the crash site with no rescue, they took off on foot using a battery-powered GPS device, headed toward a town 12 miles away. Their only food was a pack of canned salmon and trail mix. "First thing in the morning at a stream whenever we'd drink all the water we could, then we'd take a pint with us. We crossed several streams and rough terrain and all," Minton said. Crews searched everywhere for them -- even Franklin Graham's plane with Samaritan's Purse. Finally, after three days of sleeping by a campfire and being devoured by bugs, a chopper spotted them in a clearing. "I said, 'Let's stay right here in the open a little while; they are going to find us, I feel it,'" Minton said. Minton and his family are forever grateful. "Just relief. Praise the Lord prayers were answered," said son Matthew Minton. The family is thanking everyone for their support. "They did everything they could. It's a vast area. Like a needle in a haystack, it's tough to find somebody there," Larry Minton said.
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