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NTSB: No Injuries to Hunters, 'Substantial Damage' to Airplane That Crashed Aug. 12


The chief of Alaska’s National Transportation Safety Board office has released additional information about the people and plane involved in an Aug. 12 crash at a remote airstrip about 40 miles southwest of Delta Junction.

“No injuries,” he said. “Definitely substantial damage to the airplane.”

Clint Johnson said Monday that the NTSB is investigating the crash of a Piper Super Cub with two aboard that occurred around 2:30 p.m. Aug. 12 as the pilot was attempting takeoff.

“These were two sheep hunters,” he said. “The pilot indicated to me that there were no mechanical issues. But, very gusty, windy conditions, and unfortunately they got into a downdraft and just on the initial climbout a gust of wind basically pushed them into terrain, the trees.”

The crash activated the Super Cub’s emergency locator transmitter, which was monitored by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center out of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The 176th Air National Guard Wing sent personnel aboard an HH-60 helicopter and HC-130 aircraft to rescue the pilot and passenger and transport them to Fairbanks.

“They launched a helicopter up there,” he said, “picked these two folks up, transported them to the Fairbanks airport, and that’s where they basically turned them over to the Troopers and Wildlife Troopers from there.”

But the Alaska State Troopers say they can’t vouch for that. A Troopers spokesperson said Monday the agency has, quote, “no information to provide on this incident,” including the names of the pilot and passenger. Officials with the Air National Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB also said they can’t release that information.

“It’s just the policy of the NTSB that we do not release names of injured, deceased or uninjured passengers or flight crew.”

Johnson said he could however confirm that the Super Cub’s registration was expired, as reported by the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. An online FAA database confirms that the registration expired in April. The database shows the airplane was registered to a person with a Cordova address.

Telephone calls on Monday to a number listed under that person’s name were not returned.

Tim has worked in the news business for over three decades, mainly as a newspaper reporter and editor in southern Arizona. Tim first came to Alaska with his family in 1967, and grew up in Delta Junction before emigrating to the Lower 48 in 1977 to get a college education and see the world.