Two Injured After Iron Dog Chase Plane Crashes
Attorney and snowmachiner crashed near Rainy Pass Sunday afternoon
ANCHORAGE - Two men are in critical condition after their plane crashed during the Iron Dog snowmobile race this weekend.
Anchorage attorney Robert Stone, 41, and Jason Wichman, 31 -- the latter of whom just dropped out of the race due to an injury -- were following the race when they crashed near Rainy Pass on Sunday afternoon.
Rainy Pass Lodge Manager Steve Perrins II said the plane was taking off when it hit a downdraft. He said the plane tried to turn back to the airstrip, but stalled and nosedived into the ground.
Perrins said people staying at the lodge jumped into action the moment they saw the aircraft go down.
"Everyone who was there rushed over. We had to bring a generator and saws and cut the guys out of the plane and we worked on them in the lodge for over three hours until the National Guard got in. One guy was in pretty bad shape, we had to breathe for him for over two hours," said Perrins.
He said it's fortunate the plane crashed in an area where so many people were able to help. "We were down there within a minute of the plane crashing. There was fuel leaking all over the place and we were worried about it, but people just climbed right in the plane and didn't even worry about that and helped get those guys out."
The Alaska Air National Guard Rescue Squadron arrived by helicopter a couple hours later and flew the men to Anchorage where they were initially listed in critical condition.