2 dead, 1 injured after McCall airplane crashes in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness area

Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho
Posted at 5:12 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 19:12:36-04

This article was originally published by Jacob Scholl in the Idaho Statesman.

Two people were killed and another was seriously injured during a plane crash Saturday afternoon in a remote area of Valley County.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration incident notification filed Monday, a Cessna TU206 aircraft crashed and killed two passengers and injured the pilot.

The airplane took off from a McCall airport around 12:30 p.m. with three people onboard, according to Eric Weiss, a spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Weiss told the Idaho Statesman that the plane crashed near Mormon Mountain, which is located to the west of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

The crash took place Saturday afternoon when the Cessna hit “mountain terrain,” Weiss said.

Valley County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Copperi said the pilot was flown via LifeFlight helicopter to a Boise hospital for treatment. Weiss said the pilot was seriously injured in the crash.

Though the FAA incident notification sheds little detail on the crash, it shows that investigators found the aircraft and noted the damage to the airplane was “substantial,” and that the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

The FAA incident notification says the aircraft belonged to McCall Aviation, a charter airplane company based in the town. On its website, McCall Aviation says it offers scenic flights of areas such as the Sawtooth Range, Hells Canyon Wilderness and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

The website also includes a brief, looping video of one of their airplanes: a Cessna aircraft with the same N-number as the aircraft listed in the incident notification. When reached by phone Tuesday, a McCall Aviation representative referred all questions about the crash to the NTSB.

Weiss said the crash investigation continued through the weekend and into Tuesday, as NTSB investigators were still at the scene as recently as Tuesday. The names of the deceased have not been released to the public.