COOLIN, Idaho - A Cessna 172 with four people onboard crashed while taking off from the Cavanaugh Bay Airport around 2:45 p.m. on Sunday near the south banks of Priest Lake. The Spokane pilot and his three passengers walked away from the crash with minor injuries.
The pilot told KXLY he encountered wind shear (a phenomenon that can affect a plane's airspeed) during takeoff. He declined to provide any further comments.
Witnesses described seeing a plane struggling to takeoff. At one point, the plane pitched 90 degrees, struck its wing on the pavement and slid across Cavanaugh Bay road on its nose. The Cessna came to a stop feet away from a propane tank and several buildings.
"The fact that they walked out of there alive was amazing," said Gena Costa, who was bartending in a restaurant nextdoor to the crash site. Employees and customers rushed to help those inside. Costa said one man had a cut on his head.
"I'm so happy that they are alive," said Costa. "To see the actual collision and crash in front of your eyes, it's just crazy. How did they live?"