The pilot suffered a broken jaw and cheekbone, but is expected to make a full recovery.
(Dylan Stableford) A single-engine plane crash in the Idaho wilderness in late June was captured on video from inside the cockpit, and the harrowing footage has made its way to YouTube.
The plane—a 1947 Stinson 108 four-seater—took off from Bruce Meadows Airport in Stanley, Idaho, at about 2 p.m. June 30 with four passengers aboard: the owner and pilot, 70-year-old Leslie Gropp, his 38-year-old son, Tol, and two of Tol's friends—all returning from a morning hike on a clear, 80-degree day in an area known as No Return Wilderness. The four were headed to McCall, Idaho, a small mountain town where they planned to have dinner.
"I knew that the takeoff took a little longer than normal," Tol Gropp told Boise's KBOI-TV. "But the runway was so long that once we got up in the air I wasn't concerned about it."
The plane struggled to gain altitude after takeoff. According to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary crash report, the pilot "flew straight out for about three or four minutes, but the airplane would only ascend to about 60 to 70 feet above the tops of the trees." The plane "started losing altitude and experienced a downdraft," sending it into the trees below.
[Warning: Some of the footage below is graphic in nature.]