Mountain Flying Expert Recovering

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The author of the Mountain Flying Bible appears to have broken one of the Ten Commandments of wilderness crash survival last week and lived to tell the tale. Sparky Imeson, 61, of Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Jon C. Kantorowicz, 58, of Great Falls, Mont., the pilot Imeson was teaching canyon flying techniques, survived the crash of Kantorowicz’s Aviat Husky in the Elkhorn Mountains but both suffered a variety of injuries. Kantorowicz told the Great Falls Tribune they hit a downdraft when they were expecting lift and couldn’t fly out of it. Imeson, who’s written several books on mountain flying, apparently ignored the first rule of wilderness search and rescue, opting to hike for help (or possibly a cellphone signal) instead of staying at the crash site with Kantorowicz. And, as usually happens, searchers found Kantorowicz and then went looking for Imeson. Kantorowicz used a piece of his Husky’s windshield to signal a rescue helicopter last Monday, a day after the crash. Meanwhile, Imeson was struggling through the wilderness with a compression fracture in his back, broken ribs, a broken toe and a deep gash on his forehead. Because of the back injury he had to lift his legs with his hands to get over fallen trees that covered the old forest fire site. "I didn't think the terrain was as bad as it was," he said, referring to downed trees. "I walked 13 hours the first day and five-and-one-half hours the second," told the Tribune. He was found about a mile and a half from the crash site. Both men are expected to recover.