PINEDALE (WNE) – A young pilot in training and his experienced instructor were both injured but survived a single-engine plane crash just south of the Pinedale Airport on Monday evening, March 17.
Riley Wilson, 18, and his instructor Fred Holden, 79, both from Pinedale, were flying in the vintage 1961 single-engine Piper with Wilson at the controls as they approached the Pinedale Airport runway from the north for a landing, according to Wyoming Highway Patrol Lt. Klief Guenther.
Something happened with the aircraft’s mechanics while Wilson was flying and Holden took over control but the mechanical failure made it so Holden could not control the plane, he said. At that point the plane was about 150 feet above the ground and going about 85 miles an hour, they told him. The plane’s wheel and right wing landed on the ground, tipping the propeller forward into the ground about 50 feet south of the airport’s boundary.
Guenther said neighbors saw the plane’s crash landing and called 911 and went to the scene.
The two men were taken by ambulance to the Pinedale Medical Clinic, where Wilson was treated for head and facial wounds and released. Holden was transported by medical helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for “substantial injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening,” according to Guenther.
He noted that Holden is an “extremely experienced pilot.”