Two injured when small plane crashes in Rocky Mountain park
July 9, 2010
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. – A Wisconsin man and his daughter survived a single-engine plane crash in a remote part of Rocky Mountain National park, using trees and debris from the aircraft to build a shelter while they waited to be rescued, park officials said Friday.
Jim Michaels, 54, and his 18-year-old daughter Tonie suffered minor injuries when their plane crashed just before 12:30 p.m. Thursday, park spokesman Kyle Patterson said. He said the plane crashed in an area of heavy timber and came to rest against a large fir tree. Its wings were folded back.
Park rangers reached them Friday morning. They were brought down from the wreckage in a helicopter and did not request an ambulance, Patterson said.
They took off from Oconomowoc, Wis., on Wednesday, spent the night in Greeley, Colo., and were planning to fly to Aspen and Telluride before returning home.
Michaels is an experienced pilot who has been flying since he was 16, and he owned the 2009 American Champion plane, Patterson said. His daughter had just earned her pilot’s license, too.
Both are declining media interviews.
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The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined.