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Wed, May 30, 2012

Three Survivors Airlifted From Idaho Accident Scene

Cessna Was En Route From California To Mountain Home, Idaho

Rescuers from the Idaho National Guard airlifted a pilot, his wife, and daughter from a mountain-side Sunday afternoon, more than 15 hours after the trio survived a night-time plane crash onto a forested slope in a remote part of the state. The group was flying in a Cessna 172 (similar airplane pictured)  from California to Mountain Home, Idaho, when the plane went down at about 2100 MDT Saturday. One of the three used a cellphone just after midnight to report that they had survived the crash but had suffered head and back injuries.

Colonel Tim Marsana of the Idaho National Guard said a medical helicopter was the first to spot the wreckage Sunday morning, but white-out conditions didn't allow for an immediate rescue. Ground rescuers reached the crash site first. They wrapped the family members in blankets and built a fire until a military helicopter could lift them out with a hoist. The three were flown one at a time to a landing area about a half-mile from War Eagle Mountain in southwest Idaho's Owyhee County.

The Associated Press reports that authorities identified the three as Brian Brown of Wilton, CA, his wife Jayann Brown, and their daughter. Her name was not immediately available. The first person came out about noon and the last at about 1400 local time, and each was transferred to a medical helicopter and flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, ID, where they were listed in stable condition.

It's unclear what caused the Cessna to go down. Photos taken by rescuers showed significant damage, including a broken front windshield.

FMI: www.idahoarmyguard.org, www.ntsb.gov

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