Idaho pilot rescued after small plane crash-lands on top of tree

The pilot of a small plane that got stuck on top of a white fir tree in Idaho Monday evening was forced to stay put for about two hours before rescuers were able to scale the tree and retrieve him.

John Gregory, 79, was piloting his lightweight Piper Cub PA-18 when he began to lose power and flew into a tree a few miles east of McCall Airport, located 100 miles north of Boise, according to a press release from the Valley County Sheriff’s Office. The strut of the aircraft appeared to be wrapped around the tree, which stood 60 feet above the ground.

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“We were very impressed that it was at the top of a tree,” McCall Fire Capt. Brandon Swain told the Idaho Statesman. “We really didn’t say much when we got on scene. We didn’t expect to see it as high up.”

Gregory wasn’t injured. The plane remained largely intact -- one wheel fell off -- and will most likely be removed in the next week or two, officials told the paper. The aircraft was secured to the tree with a rope to prevent it from falling.

The public is being asked to stay away from the crash site.

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