OSHKOSH – Four people are hospitalized after a plane crashed during an attempted  takeoff Thursday evening near the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Seaplane Base along State 45, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. 

Officials say an amphibious airplane carrying three people crashed into Lake Winnebago going about 80 mph just before 8 p.m. Thursday. One passenger inside the plane was able to escape the wreck, while two others were trapped inside, said Winnebago County Sheriff’s Lieutenant David Roth. 

Oshkosh Fire Department and Coast Guard rescue boats responded to the crash, which was yards away from shore, and were able to pull out the two people trapped in the wrecked plane. An emergency responder at the scene was also injured, Roth said. 

All four were taken to the hospital, one with burns. Two are in critical condition, Roth said.

The plane is a six-seat Lake Renegade amphibious plane fitted for both land and water, likely built between the mid-1980s and early 2000s, said EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski.

 Authorities closed off two roads leading to the base on the shore of Lake Winnebago and turned away busloads of tourists heading that direction. The base along the lake is part of EAA’s AirVenture convention.

The Oshkosh Fire Department and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department remained at the scene of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were en route to the crash. 

At about  9:05 p.m., an EAA chaplain’s vehicle could be seen near the base. 

EAA is in the midst of its annual AirVenture fly-in convention, which continues through Sunday.

Reach Nate Beck at 920-858-9657 or…