Two people aboard a single-engine airplane that made an emergency landing southwest of the Fort Hall townsite about 3 p.m. Thursday received minor injuries and were reportedly treated in an ambulance at the scene. They were not transported to a hospital.
The plane did snap off a power pole as it came down in a field near Rio Vista and North Philbin Road within 100 yards of a home. Power was out to residents in the area for a couple of hours before being restored by Idaho Power.
The plane didn’t actually make a crash landing, it deployed an emergency parachute that allowed it descend into the field.
Emergency personnel from the Fort Hall Police and Bannock County Sheriff’s office closed off the area because the downed aircraft continued to move across the field in the high winds and posed the threat of downing more power lines. A resident of the area said he watched a parachute from the airplane come loose and blow in the wind until it went out of sight.
Fort Hall authorities said the chute became tangled in power lines for a short period of time.
Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen said the pilot of the airplane radioed the Pocatello Regional Airport tower about 3 p.m. and said as he was preparing an approach to land because his plane began having engine trouble. The Pocatello Fire Department at the airport scrambled in preparation for an emergency landing, but the plane went down in a field within the boundaries of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation several miles from any runways.
The fuselage of the plane seemed to be broken nearly in half behind the cockpit and passenger seats. The wings were severely damaged.
The scene remained off limits while authorities waited for investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration to arrive and investigate the crash site.