BOISE, Idaho – A pilot missing for two days was found alive, dangling upside-down in the wreckage of his single-engine plane in a heavily forested area.
Paul C. Herr, of Pasco, Wash., was in fair condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston after his rescue Wednesday, a nursing supervisor said.
Members of the sheriff's rescue unit had to rappel into the site in the Clearwater National Forest (search) from a helicopter, then use chain saws to cut a landing pad.
"He was in a very steep area, and topographically it's really, really rugged," sheriff's spokeswoman Trudy Slagle said.
Herr was making a final leg of the trip from Jackson, Wyo., to Pasco on Monday when he reported engine failure over Idaho, state Transportation Department spokesman Mel Coulter said.
Though air traffic controllers in Seattle tried to direct him to an airstrip in Kooskia, Idaho — just 20 miles away — he never arrived.
Bad weather kept the rescue workers from carrying out an aerial search until Wednesday.
Herr and his wife had gone to Iowa to visit grandchildren. Christine Herr had taken a commercial flight while her husband flew the 40-year-old Piper 180 (search) home solo.