Son: "He's Looking Really Good For How Bad The Accident
To be honest, no one really expected 54-year old Paul Herr to
survive. He'd been missing for two days after his Piper Warrior
disappeared from radar on a flight from Jackson Hole, WY, to Pasco,
But Herr surprised everyone. And now he'll live to tell about
"He tried to walk, he tried to crawl out, but he couldn't get
much of anywhere," Herr's wife, Christine, told the Associated
Press Thursday. "He has cuts on his face, but he looks great
Herr suffered a broken vertebra and shattered jaw when his
PA-28's (file photo of type, below) engine quit and the aircraft
ended up in a canyon about 20 miles east of Kooskia, ID on Monday.
Earlier reports that he'd been found hanging from his seat by his
safety harness have now been discounted. That certainly doesn't
mean, however, that Herr's ordeal was a walk in the park.
Poor weather prevented an airborne search on Tuesday. It wasn't
until Wednesday that state and federal officials were able to
pinpoint the crash site.
"We picked up a faint ELT (emergency locater transmitter) signal
on top of the ridge, and we just kept messing around, flying above
that spot until the signal got stronger," Neal Johnson, a North
Idaho Backcountry Medical Rescue Team of Orofino told the AP. "We
flew directly over ... several times, but there was no indication a
plane had gone down."
But one of the airborne searchers finally spotted a three-foot
long piece of metal stuck in a tree -- debris from the crash -- and
the ground search was on.
But it was a search for remains, not a search for a survivor,
"We took nominal gear because we assumed we were going to find a
body," he said. "But when we hiked to the plane, there was nobody
inside. We found him about 100 or 150 feet below, near the
Johnson said Herr suffered from hypothermia as well as his
injuries -- but was up and moving about, communicative and
Herr is expected to remain hospitalized for another week.
"We're doing really good. We're extremely ecstatic," the son
said in a telephone interview. "He's looking really good for how
bad the accident was."
FAA Preliminary Accident Report
Make/Model: PA28 Description: PA-28
CHEROKEE, ARROW, WARRIOR, ACHER, D
Date: 05/09/2005 Time: 2337
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Serious Mid Air: N
City: LOWELL State: ID Country:
ACFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, AN ALERT NOTICE
WAS ISSUED AND
THE ACFT WAS LOCATED IN THE BACKCOUNTRY NEAR KOOSHIA, NEAR
INJURY DATA Total Fatal:
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
Dep Date: Dep.
Flt Plan: IFR
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: SPOKANE, WA
Entry date: 05/12/2005