A Boise man is dead and a Georgia man is in the hospital following a weekend plane crash in Valley County.
About 130 a.m. Saturday, September 2nd, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 transfer call from the Boise County Sheriff’s Office.
“The caller stated he was a pilot of a small airplane which had crashed near the Sulfur Creek Air Strip. (He said) his plane stalled and he was forced to crash land. The pilot stated he was injured and needed medical help. We were also told the sole passenger in the plane had died in the crash,” said valley County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Jason Speer.
The Valley County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center started working to dispatch rescuers to the crash site.
“We contacted the Boise County Sheriff’s Office and learned their Phase 2 9-1-1 equipment did not function correctly with this call. Contact with Verizon Wireless was made and a ping of the cell phone was conducted to get a general location of the pilot,” Speer explained. “Once GPS coordinates were received, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office requested Life Flight to launch -- to see if their crew could locate and provide medical assistance to the pilot. As further pings were conducted the location of the pilot was less clear.”
About 11:30 a.m., the United States Air Force contacted the Valley County Communication Center and gave GPS location information on the plane. “We also received another phone call from the pilot where he described his location. Given this latest information, it was clear Life Flight wouldn’t be able to affect the rescue of the pilot,” Speer said.
Valley County Sheriff Patti Bolen then authorized the request for Two Bear Air out of Flathead County, Montana. “We provided this information to Life Flight, and they decided to land at the Sulfur Creek Airstrip to await Two Bear Air. At that time, the Communications Center contacted the Boise National Forest Dispatch Center to advise we were bringing two helicopters into the area of Bearskin Fire Operations,” Speer said.
About 1:20 p.m., a Forest Service helicopter crew located the crash and dropped a first aid kit to the pilot. “It was observed that the pilot was injured and needed assistance,” Speer stated.
About an hour later, Two Bear Air lowered a rescue specialist down to the crash site and rescued the pilot.
He was then airlifted to the Cascade Airport and taken by Life Flight to Boise.
“Two Bear Air then transported a detective from the Valley County Sheriff’s Office to the crash site and lowered him and the rescue specialist down to the crash site,” Speer said.
The deceased passenger was hoisted from the scene and transported to the Cascade Airport, where the Valley County Coroner took possession of the body.
The pilot has been identified as Andrew D. Akin, 54, of Griffin, Georgia. The passenger has been identified as David R. Henderson, 50, of Boise.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.