Four rescued from Skilak Glacier plane crash

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:05pm
  • News

Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard rescued four men after a plane went down at the foot of Skilak Glacier Tuesday night.

The four men, passengers Reid Nelson, 19, of Cokato, Minn., Logan Sutton, 22, and Levi Sutton, 25, of Soldotna and pilot Donny Joachim, 37, of Soldotna, did not suffer any injuries when their Cessna 172 aircraft went down Tuesday, said Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Beth Ipsen.

The pilot of the plane was able to text the Sutton family, who contacted troopers about the crash, Ipsen said. Troopers then contacted the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

The 176th Wing rescue squadron responded at 9:10 p.m. Tuesday in a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter with rescue personnel from the 210th and 212th from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson base, according to a press release from Major Candis Olmstead, director of Public Affairs with the Alaska National Guard.

Airman Captain Ben Leonard, with the 210th Rescue Squadron said the plane was found upside down and halfway in a stream with the other half over glacial silt, about one mile from Skilak Lake.

“They had a campfire going so we were able to find them and land safely,” Leonard said.

The rescued men walked onto the helicopter and were taken to Central Peninsula Hospital and released in good condition at around 11 p.m., according to the report.

The men departed from the Soldotna airport to sightsee on Tuesday. Ipsen and Leonard said they do not know the cause of the crash.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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