Plane makes emergency landing in Sterling, pilot unhurt

A cockpit full of smoke forced a pilot to make an emergency landing near Sterling on Sunday.

Central Emergency Services responded to a call for help near Beaver Pond Lake, a remote lake northeast of Sterling, at 4:02 p.m. Sunday. Central Emergency Services responded down Swanson River Road, the nearest access road, but there was no clear ground access to the site of the landing, said CES Capt. Terry Bookey.

However, the call had come from the pilot via cell phone, so they knew he was not hurt.

“It was reported the pilot was outside of the plane, uninjured, but there was smoke in the cabin, in the cockpit of the plane,” Bookey said. “In its landing, the plane had flipped over and was not on its wheels but on the roof.”

CES has ATVs to respond to areas without road access, but because of the location of the crash, the Alaska State Troopers were called to dispatch their helicopter, Bookey said.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety had not responded to requests for comment by press time Sunday.

—Elizabeth Earl

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