Two men in their 30s escaped a plane crash without injuries on May 29.
The plane went down a couple of miles from the Middle Fork Lodge in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness at about 11:30 a.m. that Saturday, Sawtooth Search and Rescue Commander Gary Gadwa said.
The plane was over the Middle Fork of the Salmon River when the men lost control of the lightweight, single-engine Maule aircraft.
The men used an inReach satellite phone to call for help. The International Emergency Response Coordination Center in Florida forwarded the information to Gadwa. When he spoke with them they said they could to walk to the lodge. Gadwa used text messages to lead them to the South Fork Thomas Creek Trail. It took about two hours for them to get to the trail and the lodge. Gadwa contacted the lodge ahead of their arrival, so that lodge employees would be able to assist the two men.
Gadwa didn’t know which direction the plane was traveling or where the travelers were headed. Because they communicated only by text, Gadwa said all interactions were about getting the men to safety. Gadwa reported the incident to Division of Aeronautics personnel, who will work with Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators to examine the crash.
“They were very fortunate,” Gadwa said of the two men.