Pilot walks away from golf course crash
BLACKFOOT — The 11th fairway of the Blackfoot Golf Course briefly gained a new hazard as a cropdusting plane crashed onto the fairway at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday.
The cropdusting plane is owned by Vector Disease Control International. It had just taken off from the Blackfoot Airport, heading north with the wind.
Golfer Brent Hill was on the tee box at the 11th hole.
"We watched it all," he said. "[The pilot is] lucky; I can't believe the plane is rightside up.
"The plane hit trees on either side of the number nine fairway, then bounced and clipped trees on the 11th fairway," Hill said.
The plane landed in a pond. Momentum and the skill of the pilot brought the plane out of the pond. The plane spun around a small tree on the west side of the pond and stopped with its nose heading south, facing the direction from which it came.
"The pilot walked away," said Capt. Kurt Asmus said. "He was taken to Bingham Memorial Hospital by private vehicle."
Asmus did not released the pilot's name Tuesday evening.
Blackfoot Airport manager Kerry Regua said the pilot was fine.
"He was examined at the hospital, then released," Regua said. "He has a cut on his finger and he may be a little sore tomorrow where the harness kept him secure."
The plane was carrying a low level chemical fungicide, said Lt. Branden Wall of the Blackfoot Fire Department.
"Our main concern is the [aviation] fuel," Wall said. "We have off-loaded what [fuel] didn't spill."
Wall said some fuel did soak into the ground.
Local officials contacted federal agencies and received permission to move the plane to a hangar at the Blackfoot Airport where it will spend the night in lockdown.
Investigators from the Federal Aviation Agency (FFA), National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) as well as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Haz-Mat with Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are anticipated to be on site Wednesday.
The Von Elm Golf Tournament is scheduled at the Blackfoot Golf Course this weekend. There's no word on whether the crash will affect it.