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Incident Name:  Minidoka Fire, near Paul, Idaho
Date:  6/26/1981
Personnel: 3 lives lost
Age:  pilot age 29
Agency/Organization:  Bureau of Land Management
Position: aerial firefighters


Names of the three who died are unknown, two were BLM firefighters, one was the pilot. If you have information, their names or a news article, please let us know.

On June 26, 1981, a contract pilot and two BLM firefighters died in the crash of a Cessna 182Q. The pilot attempted a go-around after a hard, bounced landing; the plane struck powerlines and crashed, killing all on board.


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Simplot  Airport, Idaho was the named airport but Burley Airport is likelty the accident site.

fighting the Minidoka Fire, near Paul, Idaho

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Concise Information from the NTSB, FAA, AAP and research by the WLF Staff:
    • 6/26/1981
    • 3 killed, names unknown
    • Operator: unknown
    • Type: CESSNA 182Q
    • Location: near Paul, ID
    • FAA Registration # N759NP
    • NTSB # SEA81FA044
  • National Transportation Safety Board: Probable Cause (html)

    Name of Airport: Simplot

    Departure Point: Shoshone, ID

    Intended Destination: Burley, ID

    Type of Accident: Overshoot

    Collided with wires/poles

    Phase of Operation: Landing: Level off/touchdown

    Landing: Go-around

    Probable Cause(s)

    PILOT IN COMMAND - Misjudged distance and speed

    PILOT IN COMMAND - Delayed in initiating go-around


    PILOT IN COMMAND - Selected wrong runway relative to existing wind

    Miscellaneous acts, conditions - Downwind

    Fire after Impact

    Remarks- Struck top wire of a power line.

  • For more information consult the NTSB Online Lookup Utility Use NTSB Identification:SEA81FA044
  • Lessons Learned Center database information:

    Date: 6/26/1981

    Location: Paul

    State: Idaho

    Incident: Split Lake

    Accident: Aircraft Accident

    Category: Aircraft Accident

    Organization: Federal

    Agency: BLM

    Number of People: Not Applicable

    Shelters Available: Not Applicable

    Shelters Deployed: Not Applicable

    Fatalities: 3

    Injuries: Not Applicable

    Minidoka Fire
    Paul, ID

    contract pilot and 2 BLM firefighters died

    Cessna 182Q pilot attempted a go-around after a hard, bounced landing; struck powerlines and crashed

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Contributors to this article:  Mellie

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