Sunday, September 11, 2022

Cessna 180, N3135D: Accident occurred September 03, 2022 near Seeley Lake Airport (23S), Powell County, Montana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana

Aircraft crashed short of the runway.  

Skycavu Inc

Date:  03-SEP-22
Time: 21:13:00Z
Regis#: N3135D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 180
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Flight Crew: 1 Serious Injuries 
Pax:  1 Serious Injuries
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91

SEELEY LAKE, Montana – Just after 3:15 p.m. Saturday, September 3, emergency responders were dispatched to a plane crash reported south of the airport. Within 15 minutes of the report emergency responders where on scene were a small, single engine aircraft was found in the trees in the Double Arrow Ranch Homestead Commons area. There were two occupants in the plane. They both sustained injuries and were flown via two Life Flight Network helicopters to Missoula.

Seeley Lake Fire Chief and Incident Commander Dave Lane said nine Seeley Lake Fire Department volunteers responded to the Homestead Commons off Dolly Varden Drive on the Double Arrow Ranch. Seeley-Swan Search and Rescue volunteers and local law enforcement were also on scene as well as a few bystanders.

The aircraft was nose down in the trees. Lane said one of the occupants was on the ground next to the aircraft while the second occupant was trapped.

"Our focus with patient care was to get that first person moving to the hospital and work on extricating the second one," Lane said.

It took more than an hour to extricate the second occupant from the aircraft.

They were both flown to Missoula. Their names, where they were from and condition were not released.

"Everyone knew their assignments and carried them out and did a really good job for us," Lane said. "Everybody who was involved thank you very much."

The Double Arrow Homestead Commons was closed to the public Saturday afternoon. Following the investigators' visit to the crash site on Sunday, the wreckage was removed. The Commons Area was reopened to the public Sunday evening. The cause of the crash is under investigation.


  1. short of runway is an understatement. a possible stall in the pattern.

    1. They, in fact, did not stall, but their engine died after doing a low pass of the runway to check for wildlife before making a turn back to land.