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It's hard to believe that an experienced pilot would fly over large expenses of wilderness without a PLB and adequate survival gear.
They were all very lucky and the outcome was favorable.
Responsible aviators should be better prepared and should carry a PLB as well as basic survival and first aid equipment at all times.
Getting a cell phone signal and successfully call 911 in that remote location was almost a miracle.
The family was en route from California to Mountain Home, Idaho, when their Cessna 172 went down Saturday night, leaving them with head and back injuries, officials said.
One of them used a cellphone just after midnight to report that they had survived the crash.
A medical helicopter located the wreckage Sunday morning, but whiteout conditions prevented the aircraft crew from carrying out an immediate rescue, said Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard.
Rescuers who walked through 6-foot snowdrifts and on 60-degree slopes reached the crash site first. They wrapped the family members in blankets and built a fire until a military helicopter could lift them out with a hoist.
"It was inhospitable for a landing," Marsano said. "The use of the helicopter was indispensable for this type of rescue operation."
The three were flown one at a time to a landing area about a half-mile from War Eagle Mountain in southwest Idaho's Owyhee County. They were later flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where they remain in stable condition Monday.