Incredible Photos Show Plane Atop a 60-Foot Tree

Firefighters managed to rescue pilot uninjured
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2019 1:30 AM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2019 1:59 AM CDT
Plane Crash-Lands in 60-Foot Tree
This photo provided by the Valley County Sheriff's Office shows a small plane where it came to rest at the top of a tree near the resort town of McCall, Idaho.   (Undersheriff Jason Speer/Valley County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A 79-year-old pilot spent a tense few hours in a Piper Cub PA-18 perched at the top of a 60-foot tree Monday night. Authorities say that after the man's plane lost power, he ended up in the giant white fir after trying to crash-land in a field a few miles east of McCall, Idaho. "We were very impressed that it was at the top of a tree," McCall Fire Captain Brandon Swain tells the Idaho Statesman. "We really didn’t say much when we got on scene. We didn’t expect to see it as high up." Luckily for the pilot, one of the volunteer firefighters was Randy Acker, owner of a tree removal company.

Acker scaled the tree, cutting branches with a chainsaw on the way up until he was about 20 feet from the top, where he could secure the precariously perched plane to the tree using rope webbing, the AP reports. "We were nervous," Swain says. "The majority of the limbs at the top were helping support that plane." Acker then cut the pilot's harness and clipped him to a safety line. The pilot, identified as local man John Gregory, was brought to the ground uninjured around midnight, two hours after rescuers arrived at the scene. The plane is still stuck in the tree, and authorities have asked the public to stay away from the site while they figure out a safe way to remove it. (More Idaho stories.)

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