A 30-year-old pilot was killed after falling into an Idaho potato processing plant last week – and now her grieving family are reportedly wanting the airport to close for good.
Brittney Infanger was flying UPS packages from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Burley, Idaho, when she fell into the Gem State processing plant after landing about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, her father told East Idaho News.
Infranger, an 11-year-old veteran pilot, died in the impact after hitting the facility located at the end of Burley Airport’s runway.
“This airport needs to be closed, period,” her father, Jim Bob Infranger, told the outlet. “I’m a pilot myself and … many pilots have told me how unsafe Burley Airport is and how they have asked the county to move it.
“They’ve allowed this potato processing plant to keep expanding, and this chimney comes up and has a huge amount of steam. When the wind blows (from a certain direction) you fly right into that wall of vapor. That was the case this morning.”
Jim Bob said there is a dangerous, unlit, 60-foot smokestack that runs right across the center of the runway.
“So whenever you come in, you have to fly over the top and drop,” he said.
The distraught father isn’t sure what exactly might have caused the collision, but suspected she might have struck a bird while descending. The coroner believes her wing may have hit the smokestack, causing the plane to overturn, East Idaho News reported.
The Minidoka County coroner is expected to release more information about the crash on Thursday or Friday, according to the Heyburn Police Department.
The Federal Aviation Administration, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, is investigating the crash.
Brittney is the fifth of seven children in her family, according to Fox 13. She flew her first solo flight at age 19 while juggling college and serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After college, she became a teacher in Arizona before returning to Idaho to teach flying during the pandemic.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/19/ups-pilot-brittney-infanger-crashes-into-potato-plant-near-idaho-airport/ UPS pilot Brittney Infanger crashes into a potato factory near the Idaho airport