Green River Star -

Twins, infant rescued from downed plane Mon.

 

January 30, 2019



Twin toddlers and an infant were among those rescued from a downed aircraft Monday night.

According to the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, the Sweetwater Combined Communications Center received a report of a downed plane at about 6:30 p.m., Monday evening.

The pilot had been in contact with authorities at the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport, reporting he had landed his Piper Archer fixed-wing, single-prop-engine aircraft into a snowy field near the airport after running low on fuel.

The pilot was flying from Wayne, Neb., to his home in Heber, Utah, with his wife, a pair of two-year-old twins and an infant. After refueling in Ogallala, Neb., the plane encountered strong headwinds.

While flying from Rawlins to Rock Springs to refuel, the pilot realized the plane would not have the fuel needed to land at the airport.

At about 5:30 p.m., at an altitude of approximately 8,500 feet, the plane’s engine died and the pilot prepared the aircraft for an emergency landing.

No one was injured in the landing and the plane was not damaged, though winter weather left the family cold and stranded in the snow. Deputies located the plane about 3 miles southeast of the airport using GPS.

When deputies realized it would take several hours to reach the plane with their equipment, deputies contacted an Intermountain Life Flight helicopter to rescue the plane’s occupants.

At 8:45 p.m., the family was evacuated and transported to Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County.

“We could not have done it alone,” Sheriff John Grossnickle said in a media release.

“I am sincerely thankful for the cooperative effort by everyone involved ... to think outside of the box and bring this potentially tragic event to a positive conclusion,” he said.

 

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