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2 rescued after emergency landing in Susitna River

 Alaska Air National Guard
Alaska Air National Guard (KTUU)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 10:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Two people were rescued and taken to the hospital after a pilot made an emergency landing in the Susitna River on Friday, according to the Alaska Air National Guard.

A pilot was flying from Wasilla with one passenger on Friday when they had to make an emergency crash landing in a marshy area on the west side of the river’s mouth, across Cook Inlet from Anchorage, the guard wrote in a press release.

The PA-18 Super Cub aircraft experienced engine failure while in flight, according to the release. The pilot was able to call a friend after the landing to ask for help, and communicated what had happened. The aircraft’s destination was not included in the release.

Despite the engine failure, the pilot was able to navigate the plane toward the marshy area near the mouth of the Susitna River where they landed.

“This decision cushioned the landing, but the aircraft was damaged and the personnel on board required medical attention,” Senior Master Sgt. Evan Budd is quoted as saying in the press release. Budd is superintendent of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

The coordination center worked with the 176th Wing if the Alaska Air National Guard, which dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron Pave Hawk helicopter. A pararescue team from the 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angels was on board.

The crew landed near the downed plane and the pararescue team was able to rescue the pilot and passenger, according to the release. Both of them were taken to a Matanuska-Susitna Borough hospital.

“The pilot was fortunate to have both cell reception and the physical capability to call a friend and start the rescue process,” Budd is quoted as saying.

The coordination center emphasized the importance of having a working emergency locator transmitter aboard any aircraft, and to have it turned on during flight.

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