Pilot killed in mid-air collision last week remembered as devoted family man who loved serving others - East Idaho News
He loved family and flying

Pilot killed in mid-air collision last week remembered as devoted family man who loved serving others

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TERRETON – Sage Teichert is a man leaving a legacy of aviation across eastern Idaho and beyond.

Teichert, who was killed in a crop-dusting collision between two planes Thursday afternoon in Butte County, personally trained hundreds of pilots at the Mud Lake, Rigby, Rexburg, Madison County and Idaho Falls Regional Airports.

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But his foremost priority and accomplishment was his family. Sage and his wife Sarah will have been married for 19 years on July 7.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that he loved his family,” said long-time friend Jared Gifford. “He always had something positive and loving and proud to say about them.”

Teichert leaves behind two daughters and two sons ages four to sixteen. He was the sole provider for his family.

Gifford first met Teichert 25 years ago on their first day in the Provo Missionary Training Center. They were both assigned to serve in the Missouri Independence mission.

As missionaries, Gifford recalls the two of them having aspirations to fly one day.

“We’d look up at the sky and see airplanes flying over, and we just knew we would be flying an airplane one day,” said Gifford. “We were certainly focused on missionary work and being good missionaries, but in the back of our minds, we knew we were gonna fly.”

But aviation wasn’t Teichert’s only passion. He also had an interest in agriculture and wanted to do something in aviation to help farmers.

“Being a crop duster was his absolute favorite,” Gifford said of Teichert.

RELATED | One pilot dead, another transported to hospital after two planes collide midair in Butte County

He loved teaching student pilots as well.

“I saw him take them from so much frustration and not wanting to fly anymore, and him just saying, ‘That’s okay. Let’s just go have fun. We don’t have to learn today,’” Gifford said. “But they’d still learn. They learned to love it, and they learned to be safe, and he’d turn it around and help them see that love of aviation again.”

And Teichert was constantly serving others, Gifford said — both inside and outside of airplanes.

Safety was a big focus for Teichert. He was the safest of any of the pilots Gifford knew. For that reason, it’s hard for him to wrap his head around something like this happening to his friend.

“I’ve had at least half a dozen pilots call and ask me, ‘How does this happen to Sage?'” Gifford explains.

To help the Teichert family over the next several months, a memorial fund has been established.

Friends and family hope to raise $50,000. As of Monday evening, more than $11,580 has been brought in with donations pouring in from across the country.

“It seems like Sage knew every pilot in east Idaho, and a lot of them elsewhere,” Gifford said. “I even saw today, someone that flew with him from Texas donated. (Teichert) helped everybody everywhere he went.”

Pending the completion of an autopsy by the Federal Aviation Administration, memorial services are tentatively planned for July 1 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse at 1297 East 1500 North in Terreton. It will start at 11 a.m.

Sage Teichert 2
Sage Teichert. | Courtesy Facebook

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