UPDATE: Body of plane pilot in Saturday crash recovered, authorities say
The body of the pilot who was killed in a crash Saturday morning has been recovered, troopers say.
The response team with the department of public safety flew a helicopter recovery mission in the early morning hours of May 13, arriving at the crash site near Whittier.
There, the Guardian Flight personnel recovered the remains of the pilot. The remains were then transported to the State Medical Examiner.
Troopers say the next of kin have been notified, however the identity of the pilot has still not been released.
One person was killed in a plane crash near Whittier Saturday morning, Alaska State Troopers say.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center received a signal from the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter at around 11:30 a.m.
“Due to weather in the area the search was hampered, however RCC and Coast Guard helicopters were able to locate a plane crash and confirmed the sole occupant was deceased,” AST wrote in an online dispatch.
As of 10:15 Sunday morning, troopers and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group were trying to reach the crash site and recover the pilot’s remains. The pilot’s identity has not yet been confirmed, troopers say.
According to NTSB regional chief Clint Johnson, the aircraft departed from Merrill Field and was a Piper PA28-180 that took off from Merrill Field to go to Valdez.
The wreckage was found on a snowfield about 2000 feet up in the mountains, about a mile southeast of Whittier. An NTSB investigator was at the crash site by early afternoon Sunday.
“It’s very challenging getting in there because of the avalanche danger,” Johnson said. “But hopefully they will be able to make it to the site today and recover the pilot’s body as well.”