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“He pushed safety like no other pilot I’ve ever known” – Remembering Idaho pilot Sage Teichert

ARCO, Idaho (KIFI) - Local News 8 is learning more about the life and character of crop-duster pilot Sage Teichert who passed away in last week's tragic crop duster accident.

Jared Gifford met Sage 25 years ago at the missionary training center in Provo, Utah. He says his best friend was quite the character and a great father who loved to make people laugh.

Jared says his friend was the safest pilot he ever met.

"He was a cowboy from nevada originally and the the skinny little cowboy that that you'd imagine," Gifford told Local News 8. "He was fun. He was happy. He had an infectious smile that you just couldn't be around him without smiling and being happy. 

Eventually that Nevada cowboy traded in his saddle to ride high above the Idaho skyline. Sage was interviewed about his experience as a pilot two years ago.

"I really enjoy everything about aviation," Sage told videographers from Heinen Brothers Agra Services. "As long as it's a seat in the air I like it!"

Jared says Sage trained close to a hundred pilots throughout their friendship, including his(Jared's) own daughter.

Sage was known for how he emphasised safety, says Jared.

"He pushed safety like no other pilot I've ever known," Jared told Local News 8. "I know it's shaken a lot of us. I've had at least half a dozen other pilots call me and ask me, 'How did this happen to Sage?'"

"We don't know. But I know it's not because of anything that he did. There's just no way because he was too safe of an individual."

Sage's own interview confirms Jared's words.

"Safety is always on the top priorities with everything that Heinen bros do," Sage told a group in 2022. "I've gotten a huge array of experience and just being able to see the everything from so many different angles helps me as a pilot."

Jared and Sage were both bit by the aviation bug early. He says that shared passion was a highlight of their friendship and allowed the Butte county crop duster to be the sole provider for his wife and four children.

Moving forward, Jared hopes the tragedy inspires everyone to be a safer and spread kindness where they can.

"I think Sage would appreciate that if if this horrible, tragic accident can just help more people," Jared told reporters while choking back tears. "Just help us all be a little kinder and reach out and help more people. I think he'd be happy with that."

Jared and his wife Stephanie have put together an online fundraiser to support Sage's family. They have already raised over $11,000, as of Monday afternoon.

Click HERE for more information.

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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