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Incident Name: 
Date:  10/20/1966, 1140 hrs
Personnel: 2 lives lost
Age: 
Agency/Organization: Grangeville Air Service (owned and operated by Frank Hill)
Position: aerial firefighter

Summary:

Jerry Payne, 32, Forest Service resource management assistant
Rodger G. Ferguson, 26, pilot

Killed in an airplane crash in the Hoodoo Creek area, approximately 2 ½ miles east of Switchback Station, on October 20, 1966.  The plane was piloted by Rodger G. Ferguson, age 26, who was flying for Grangeville Air Service (owned and operated by Frank Hill).  The pilot also died in the wreck.  The accident occurred at 11:40 AM while dropping a message to the slash crew.  The slash crew was needed on a late season fire on the Salmon River, approximately 10 miles east of Riggins.  The planes left wing hit a tree and crashed a few hundred feet away.  The crash was witnessed by Jack Sotin, Orvill Eller, Tom Robinson, Rene Myers and Archie Lawyer.

 

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Maps

Hoodoo Creek area, approximately 2 ½ miles east of Switchback Station:
The crash occurred in T31N, R5E, Section 35 near the junction of Road #1106 and Road #650D.

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • 10/20/1966, 1140 hours
    • 2 killed, Jerry Payne & Rodger Ferguson
    • Operator: Grangeville Air Service, Grangeville, ID owned by Frank Hill
    • Type: CESSNA 180C
    • Location: approximately 10 miles east of Riggins, ID
    • FAA Registration # N9175T
    • NTSB # SEA67A0035
  • National Transportation Safety Board:  Probable Cause (html)

    Collided with trees. The pilot in command - failed to see and avoid objects or obstructions
    Miscellaneous acts, conditions - unsafe low flying
    Remarks - Pilot descended below tree top during message drop

  • For more information consult the NTSB online lookup Utility Use NTSB Identification: SEA67A0035

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Contributors to this article: Brett Rogers

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