Montana pilot seriously hurt in plane crash in Yellowstone Park

A 54-year-old male pilot was injured when his single engine airplane crashed this morning in Yellowstone National Park near the community of Gardiner, Mont. National Park Service

A 54-year-old Pray, Mont., man was injured when his single engine airplane crashed this morning in Yellowstone National Park near the community of Gardiner, Mont.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., multiple callers reported that a small plane had crashed just north of the Gardiner Cemetery and east of Yellowstone Trail inside Yellowstone National Park, according to a National Park Service news release.

The accident site is south of the publicly owned Gardiner Airport, which is outside the park boundary.

Gardiner resident Bill Hill told the Livingston, Mont., Enterprise he heard a plane’s engine struggling and saw the small plane headed toward the ground at a weird angle.

Hill said he was first on the scene and saw pilot Mark Nardin crawl out of the wreckage. He said Nardin had his wits about him, complained about pain in his ribs and appeared to have a broken leg. Hill stayed with Nardin until emergency responders arrived.

Nardin was transferred to the Summit Air Ambulance helicopter and taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for treatment.

The plane is an Aero Commander agricultural aircraft. It is designed to carry a single pilot and no passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the accident, which is under investigation.

The Park County, Mont., Sheriff’s Office and Gardiner Ambulance joined Yellowstone National Park law enforcement rangers, firefighters, and a park ambulance in responding to the incident.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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