Pilot saved after emergency landing in Badlands National Park

A pilot was miraculously recovered without injury after crashing his plane in an area of Badlands National Park.
A pilot was miraculously recovered without injury after crashing his plane in an area of...
A pilot was miraculously recovered without injury after crashing his plane in an area of Badlands National Park.(Pennington County Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 9:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SCENIC, S.D. (KOTA) - A pilot involved in a “forced landing” in Badlands National Park was saved by first responders Friday evening.

According to a Facebook post by the Pennington County Search and Rescue, an aircraft went down in the area of Sheep Mountain Table in the park Friday after noon. Reports to emergency responders initially placed the accident in southern Pennington County, near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

After a search, responding departments were able to locate the distressed plane and pilot in a deep ravine. Rescuers were able to locate the pilot because of a light the pilot had turned on after seeing rescuers fly overhead. The distance of the pilot down the ravine was too far for verbal communications, which required communications between the two parties by flashing lights.

Ultimately, rescuers were able to descend roughly 230 feet and rescue the pilot the same night. The pilot, who is not identified in the post, did not sustain injuries. An effort to rescue the plane was underway as of Saturday afternoon.

The cause of the of the landing was due to “fuel exhaustion.” A number of local, state, and federal agencies cooperated to coordinate the rescue.

“The outcome of this call was much better than initially expected due to the pilot’s preparedness, the companion pilot’s quick thinking, the interagency cooperation of all responding agencies, and the behind the scenes support,” the Facebook post continued.

No other injuries were sustained during the rescue mission.