Utah fire chief calls small plane crash, with surviving pilot, a miracle

Nov 28, 2022, 12:43 PM | Updated: 1:13 pm

MOUNTAIN GREEN, Utah — It’s a series of miracles that lead a Utah pilot to not only survive but find help after crashing a small plane.

Mountain Green Fire District Fire Chief Brian Brendel said they got a call for a plane going down Sunday afternoon.

He said the problem with responding to a plane going down in the mountains is finding the plane to get to the pilot.

The pilot was flying out of the Morgan County Airport in his private plane, which Brendel described as a small plane with just one seat and even smaller than some other private planes that may come to mind.

The pilot didn’t make it far, crashing about 8 miles from the airport. 

“Many a plane crashed up there in 20 or 30 years. No one’s ever walked out,” Brendel said.

That is, until now.

“The fact that he was uninjured because that canopy was so exposed is amazing,” Brendel said.

He said the pilot, an older gentleman, was flying out of Mountain Green heading to Idaho when something went wrong, and he had to get out.

Miraculously, the pilot made it out alive, which marked only the first in a series of miracles.

“He then walked about 5 or 6 miles, as far as we can tell to get to cellphone coverage so that he could call his son, and then his son called 911,” Brendel explained. 

The crash happened around 2 p.m., with the call coming in for a plane down around 4 p.m. The pilot hiked for around two hours before he could get to help. 

The crash site, Brendel describes as remote with no houses for a mile, so no one was hurt.

“He really only took out a couple trees and walked away and then hiked all that distance which is crazy,” Brendel expressed. 

After getting a quick check from the first responders to ensure he was okay, the all-clear led them and the pilot to the crash site.

“He was able to go and get his stuff out of his airplane, and then sheriff’s deputies gave him a ride back down. It’s amazing,” Brendel said.

Fire said only one of his tanks ruptured, marking another miracle, as it didn’t cause a fire, landing in a snowy area, too.

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Utah fire chief calls small plane crash, with surviving pilot, a miracle