I don't know if everyone has already heard about this, but it looks like professor Bridewell and his brother had to make a "controlled crash landing." It sounds pretty intense. I'm glad they are both okay.
A UND associate aviation professor and his brother suffered significant injuries after they survived the crash of a small plane Sunday afternoon in Carbon County, Utah, according to authorities.
John Bridewell had flown to Prescott, Ariz., to pick up his brother, Duncan, according to Bridewell’s stepdaughter. The two departed Sunday for Alaska, and at about 12:40 p.m., an AirMed helicopter reported to the Utah Highway Patrol the plane was going down about 40 miles outside Price, Utah.
Captain Guy Adams of the Carbon County (Utah) Sheriff’s Department said in a phone interview that Duncan Bridewell was able to talk to investigators from his bed in University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
James Johnson Archive “He told them that they were flying in a canyon by the Green River Channel,” said Adams. “He said the weight of the gear they were carrying and changing conditions in the canyon made it difficult for them to regain altitude. John Bridewell decided to perform a controlled crash landing in terrain level to the river channel.”
According to Adams, Duncan Bridewell told investigators that thick vegetation concealed large boulders along the terrain, and when John brought down the Piper Cherokee, it struck a rock, rupturing the gas line and setting the passenger compartment on fire.
Duncan told investigators he helped John escape the fiery aircraft before help arrived.
“Six people in a rafting party came to their aid and helped them escape the immediacy of the fire,” Adams said. “Another rafting party arrived with EMT equipment. They took them down river to tend to their needs.”
The fire, rocky terrain and canyon location all slowed the recovery effort. It was Monday before the Bridewells were airlifted to Salt Lake City. Both are listed in fair condition.
John Bridewell was heavily sedated when investigators arrived at the hospital Tuesday. He still was groggy when reached by telephone Tuesday night and said he was not ready to talk about the incident. Duncan Bridewell had just come out of surgery.
The fire from the crash burned about six acres, making the investigation into the cause more difficult, Adams said.
“The fuselage will be turned over to the FAA,” Adams said. “Everything is consistent with the investigation so far from what Duncan Bridewell was able to tell us. They’re beat up, they’re definitely lucky to be alive.”