David R. Henderson, 50, of Boise was killed and Andrew D. Akin, 54, of Griffin, Ga. was injured Saturday when their aircraft went down somewhere near the Sulphur Creek Ranch airstrip.
The Valley County Sheriff’s Office released the men’s names Monday morning in a press statement describing the rescue effort. Dispatchers said the plane was attempting to make it to the airstrip before it crashed.
Akin, the pilot, was apparently able to call 911. Due to the remote, forested location of the crash, it took four hours for a mountain rescue crew out of Montana to retrieve him.
The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board has investigators on the way, according to the sheriff’s office. Akin reportedly told dispatchers his plane stalled and he was forced to land it.
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Dispatchers on Monday did not know where the plane was coming from before it crashed on its way to the airstrip.
The exact model of Akin’s plane was not clear, other than it was a personal plane. Photos show a small aircraft crashed amid trees on a mountainside.
Henderson died in the crash, Akin told dispatchers.
Akin’s call first reached Boise County’s 911 dispatch, which transferred him over to Valley County at 10:38 a.m.
Rescuers first tried to ping Akin’s cellphone to find his location. That apparently was not completely successful, but the sheriff’s office was able to instead use detailed GPS coordinates provided by the U.S. Air Force from an emergency radio beacon on the plane.
A traditional air ambulance wasn’t equipped for the terrain, so Valley County turned to Two Bear Air out of Montana, which specializes in mountain search and rescue.
A Forest Service helicopter flew over the area at about 1:20 p.m. and dropped off a first aid kit for Akin.
Two Bear Air arrived at 2:36 p.m. and flew Akin to Cascade, where paramedics with a ground ambulance cared for him until an air ambulance picked him up.
Two Bear Air also took a sheriff’s office detective to the crash site, and helped retrieve Henderson’s body.
The Statesman’s Ruth Brown contributed.