(Source: AP Photo/National Park Service, Dan Hottie)

Plane Crashes Within Yellowstone Boundary

On the morning of June 2, 2014, a single engine airplane crashed within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park.

The plane, which was carrying a 54-year old male pilot, crashed inside the boundary of Yellowstone National Park, east of the Yellowstone Trail and north of Gardiner Cemetery, sometime around 8:30 a.m. The plane had taken off from Gardiner Airport, just north of the crash site.

The pilot, whose identity has not been disclosed, was seriously injured in the crash. Subsequent to the crash, he was taken via ambulance back to the Gardiner Airport and flown via helicopter to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. There is no word on his current condition. (Update: the pilot’s name has been reported by the Caspar Star Tribune):

Gardiner resident Bill Hill said he heard a plane’s engine struggling at about 8:30 a.m.

“I heard a really loud propeller noise,” Hill said. “I looked out and saw a plane headed toward the ground at a weird angle, and I knew it must have crashed.”

Hill and his daughter drove to the crash site while she called 911.

Hill said that as he approached the damaged plane, he saw pilot Mark Nardin, of Pray, crawl out of the wreckage. Nardin was conscious, “had his wits about him,” complained of pain in his ribs and appeared to have a broken leg, Hill said.

“I kept him from moving and kept him awake and talked to him” until emergency responders arrived, Hill said.

The plane in question is an Aero Commander, designed for single pilot use as an agricultural aircraft. The crash is currently under investigation by both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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