Update 9:15 a.m. from the Associated Press:
Alaska State Troopers say the bodies of two pilots have been found in the wreckage of a small commercial plane that crashed near a southwest Alaska town.
The pilots who died in the crash Tuesday evening near Bethel are identified as 42-year-old Derrick Cedars of Bethel and 46-year-old Greggory McGee of Anchorage.
The burned wreckage of the Cessna 208 operated by Hageland Aviation was found near Three Step Mountain.
Responders found the remains of the men in the wreckage.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which occurred during a training flight.
The NTSB also is investigating the crash of another Hageland Aviation Cessna 208 last November. Four people were killed and six injured in the crash of that commuter flight.
Hageland Aviation is part of Ravn Alaska.
Original post from KYUK-Bethel:
A Cessna 208 with two pilots on board has crashed outside of Bethel.
Ravn Alaska spokesperson Steve Smith confirms the downed plane was a Hageland Aviation training flight with two pilots on board, and no passengers.
State Troopers say the plane was overdue just after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and within the hour a local pilot reported seeing burning wreckage to troopers.
Clint Johnson, the Chief of the Alaska Regional Office of the National Transportation Safety Board, says a report came in of smoke on the horizon.
“When they investigated it they found what they believe was a Cessna 208 on the ground and it looks like there was a pretty substantial post crash fire, but we are very much in the formative stages,” Johnson said.
Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says an Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter responded with both troopers and fire personal on board and has located the wreckage.
Neither Peters nor Clint Johnson have information about the two pilots.
“This is an active rescue, at this point right now. Troopers have primacy, also the National Guard in Bethel. We wait until they’re done, and we take the investigation from there. At this point right now, it is an active search and rescue,” said Johnson.
An NTSB Investigator from Anchorage is traveling to Bethel Tuesday. Hageland Aviation flies under the banner of Ravn Connect, a company operated by Ravn Alaska, formerly known as Era Alaska.
- As of Monday, the Ketchikan Youth Facility slated for closure had seven kids in it and the Johnson Youth Center had four.
- Concerns focus on how the recent primary election was handled in some precincts.
- The actor and writer who brought his signature manic energy to comedy classics died at his home in Stamford, Conn., of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 83.
- The Crystal Serenity cruise ship is making a 32-day voyage from Anchorage to New York City. Meanwhile, the potential environmental impact of a journey of that scope has some worried.