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Pilot in Idaho crash ‘belly-flopped’ plane against terrain; all 3 on board leave hospital


The Cessna 172 that crashed in a mountainous area of southwest Idaho last weekend had entered icing conditions and didn’t have enough power to clear the peaks ahead, the pilot told reporters in interviews this week. Brian Brown was flying with his wife and daughter from California to a city southeast of Boise. After stopping at a gravel strip in far eastern Oregon as weather deteriorated, Brown took off again, thinking he saw a break in the weather. Instead, the Skyhawk apparently entered IFR conditions, as Brown said it started accumulating ice quickly. He elected to abruptly pull the plane up into a stall as it crashed into the side of a mountain. Brown and his wife both went through the plane’s windscreen and sustained broken noses and fractured ribs; their daughter had minor injuries, he said. Brown used fuel from the plane’s tanks to start a warming fire on Saturday night. Eventually, his daughter was able to call 911, but rescuers couldn’t pluck them from the side of the mountain until Sunday afternoon, nearly a day after the crash. All three had left the hospital by Wednesday and were recovering from their injuries.