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Pilot Killed In Crash Identified As Young McCall Flight Instructor

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Toxicology tests are planned on the body of a 21-year-old commercial pilot who died after his backcountry aircraft crashed within Craters of the Moon National Monument in south-central Idaho.

Blaine County Coroner Russ Mikel says Neil MacNichol of McCall died of blunt force trauma in the crash on Thursday.

Authorities say MacNichol was flying from Moab, Utah, to Stanley, Idaho, when he disappeared. The wreckage was found on Friday on a portion of the monument managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

MacNichol is listed as an instructor at McCall Mountain Canyon Flying Seminars, which specializes in backcountry flying.

Mikel says the aircraft, a Piper pa22, struck the ground at a steep angle but away from old lava flows in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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