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Cirrus exec injured in Super Cub accidentCirrus exec injured in Super Cub accident

Cirrus Aircraft President of Customer Experience Todd Simmons was seriously injured June 21 while flying his modified Piper Super Cub at a backcountry airstrip in Idaho.

Todd Simmons, pictured second from the right with no hat, gathers with friends at the Sulphur Creek Airstrip several years ago.

“Todd is currently recovering at a hospital in Idaho,” said Ben Kowalski, Cirrus senior vice president for sales and marketing, in a written statement. “We are in close contact and supporting Todd and his family throughout this process.”

Simmons is a highly experienced backcountry pilot and has flown in and out of the challenging airstrip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for many years. Before joining Cirrus, he worked at CubCrafters in Yakima, Washington, a firm that has helped popularize specialized backcountry aircraft capable of reaching remote, rugged areas.

Simmons was alone in his airplane at the time of the accident near the Dewey Moore Airstrip. Dewey Moore is a 700-foot gravel bar surrounded by jagged mountains at an elevation of 4,494 feet. It’s widely regarded as among the most difficult airstrips in the region.

Mountain Flying LLC says “highly experienced mountain pilots only” should attempt to take off or land at the rough strip at the base of a mountainside, and then only with special preparations.

Dewey Moore and several other U.S. Forest Service airstrips in the “River of No Return” wilderness area have been targeted for closure by wilderness advocates. Wilderness Watch, for example, has urged the U.S. Forest Service to stop maintaining Dewey Moore, Mile Hi, Simonds, and Vines Ranch and allow them to “return to their natural state.”

Simmons was transported to an Idaho hospital via medical helicopter.

AOPA Publications staff

Topics: Accident

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