One person dead after two planes collide midair north of Anchorage

Investigators say two small airplanes collided midair about noon Wednesday west of Anchorage .

One plane crashed in water at the mouth of the Susitna River, killing one person on-board.

The other was able to continue flying to Anchorage, where it made an emergency landing.

Clint Johnson, head of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska Region, said the pilot who landed the damaged Cessna 175 in Anchorage reported the planes were flying directly at each other.

“He suddenly saw an airplane that was basically spinner to spinner, nose to nose. He made an evasive maneuver by pulling back on the yoke, which obviously the airplane climbed very quickly,” Johnson said. “There was a collision. Don’t know where the other airplane was struck, but it struck his nose gear and left landing gear, sheered both of those off in the collision. Then the second airplane descended uncontrollably into the waters of the mouth of the Big Su.”

Johnson said the surviving pilot described the other plane as a “high-winged” Cessna but had no better description than that.

The NTSB believes the person who died was the pilot and sole occupant, but it remained unclear Wednesday afternoon whether there were any passengers.

The deceased person’s name is being withheld pending notification of the family.

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