Pilot sustains non-life threatening injuries in plane crash near Wasilla

 Scotty Smith / KTUU
Scotty Smith / KTUU (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 16, 2016 at 11:47 AM AKDT
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The pilot and sole occupant of a Super Cub airplane suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries when his aircraft crashed over a residential area near Wasilla.

Alaska State Troopers have identified the pilot as 34-year-old Jeffrey Tuttle from Palmer. According to troopers on the scene, the plane took off from Anderson Lake Airstrip near Bogard Road and Caribou Street at around 11:05 Friday afternoon.

Soon after takeoff, the aircraft experienced mechanical issues and Tuttle attempted to return to the airfield. As he was trying to land, the aircraft clipped several nearby trees and entered a nosedive, according to Mat Su Deputy Director of Emergency Services Ken Barkley.

The plane crashed near the fence of a business on Caribou Street near Bogard Road, its tail stick up in the air slightly over the roadway. When emergency responders arrived on scene, a group of bystanders had already pulled Tuttle from the damaged plane. He was transported to Mat Su Regional hospital for medical treatment.

There was no fire following the crash, however firefighters did discover a small fuel leak that they were able to stop, Barkley said. The plane sustained heavy damage to its nose while the tail and wings remained intact.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the incident and is investigating the wreckage on behalf of the National Transportation Safety Board, according to troopers on scene. Caribou Street was closed through the afternoon as emergency personnel and investigators responded to the wreckage.