SKITTISH MOMENT — This plane from KRMC in Kalispell was carrying four doctors plus the pilot when it went off the runway at the Pondera County Airport on Friday. Luckily no one was injured. The plane was deemed unflyable. The doctors were coming here and on to Shelby and Cut Bank to see patients. I-O Photo by Pat Lee
In less than ideal flying conditions on Friday morning, a plane carrying four doctors from Kalispell (Kalispell Regional Medical Center) coming to see local patients hit some ice while landing and slid off the runway at the Pondera County Airport.
The doctors on board were Karl Oehrtman, Joe Leichty, Mark Kirk and Robert D. Schimpff. The pilot of the aircraft was Carson Coryell, a 35-year veteran of the airways. It is also the first mishap of his career.
After the accident, the MedAlert Flight plane was deeded unflyable. The doctors were not treated at the Pondera Medical Center and went on to see patients.
They will use their patient plane part-time while waiting on an assessment of the aircraft and will continue services to the area as much as they can with the part-time aircraft. The doctors provide 16 outreach specialties once a week at the Pondera Medical Center.
The KRMC flies doctors two-three times a week to outlaying hospitals such as Shelby and Cut Bank.
The plane was traveling under 40 mph when it hit ice on the runway and began to slide.