The crash occurred right after take-off near Stanley, Idaho on June 30, and the video of the crash was just released. The video was shot from two cameras in the vintage Stinson 108-3
aircraft which belongs to Les Gropp.
As a Viet Nam era helicopter pilot, and member of the Air National Guard, Gropp has a lot of hours flying aircraft, but this trip didn't turn out well at all. The plane never really seemed to have a chance at gaining the altitude needed to clear the trees at takeoff.
the pilot 70 year-old Les Gropp, his son and co-pilot Tol Gropp, 38, plus two passengers Nathan Williams, 38, and Alex Arhets, 41, were shaken up and had minor injuries. Les Gropp suffered the worst injuries with broken ribs and a broken jaw.
The flight was Williams' first trip in a small plane, and both he and Arhets were videotaping the flight from different angles.
The video shows the plane after the takeoff being unable to clear the treetops surrounding the airport, and eventually clipping a tree and then smashing directly into a pine tree.
A preliminary report from the NTSB, stated the plane experienced a downdraft, and never got more than 70-100 feet above the ground before it began to clip the treetops.
"You could feel it kind of waving down, waving down and the trees just coming up closer and closer to the wings," Arhets said...
The video below is the longer video, but shows the progress of the takeoff, the eventual downdraft results, plus at about 6 minutes, a slow motion shot of the actual crash.
Be aware that the video below also shows Les Grobb and his injuries, which are very mildly graphic in nature.
After the crash, and once the plane had settled itself upside down on the ground, the men were able to exit the plane and only about ten minutes later two people who had been driving by, got to the scene. First aid was administered and the couple then left to get help. Retired firefighters, EMT's, a paramedic, BLM (U.S. Bureau of Land Management) vehicles and a Life Flight helicopter all made it to the scene to render assistance.
The four men are very lucky to have survived the experience and will have some rather exciting vacation video footage to share.