Three People Killed In Airplane Crash Near Donnelly


By Paul Johnson

UPDATE: DONNELLY, Idaho (KBOI) -- The Valley County Sheriff's Office says three people on board a plane that went missing east of Donnelly have died as a result of the crash.

The sheriff's office said the pilot, Dan Wilson of McCall, and passengers Mike Wolf and Steve Hall of Washington state were found dead in the wreckage.

The aircraft was located at about 9:35 a.m. Friday on the side of a mountain near where the beacon had been transmitting. The location is about 12 miles east of Donnelly in an elevation between 7-8,000 feet and has about two feet of snow on the ground. Crews have had difficulty with a consistent search due to poor weather conditions.

"The plane was difficult to see as it is white and green and it was located under some trees and had snow on it from storms in the area since Wednesday," the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The plane is registered to Wilderness Aircraft of McCall.

Donnelly, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) – A helicopter search team from the Idaho Army National Guard spotted what is believed to be the wreckage of an airplane missing since Wednesday morning from the McCall airport.

Wreckage was sighted about 9:50 a.m. today in rugged terrain, at an elevation of between 7,000 and 8,000 feet, several miles east of Donnelly, according to officials from the Idaho Transportation Department’s Aeronautics Division.

A Valley County Search and Rescue team was expected to arrive at the site late this morning or early afternoon. Two teams, one on horseback and another on foot, set out early this morning from a base camp to search for the aircraft.

The aerial search team could not confirm the tail number of the plane or provide information about its occupants.

A Cessna 206 single-engine aircraft carrying a pilot and two passengers left the McCall Airport Wednesday at about 9 a.m., apparently on a charter flight into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

It was reported missing at 10:23 a.m., initiating an extensive search by air and ground. The aircraft is registered to Wilderness Aviation of McCall.

The Idaho Army National Guard dispatched two helicopters again this morning to the region east of Donnelly where an emergency locator transmitter signal was detected. The Idaho Civil Patrol also sent a plane to the location.

More than 20 individuals were involved in the ground search this morning. Air and ground operations were hampered Thursday by inclement weather and poor visibility. The ground is covered by about two feet of snow.

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office has assumed responsibility for the search.

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