Soldotna-bound missing plane found

  • By RASHAH MCCHESNEY and DAN BALMER
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015 2:42pm
  • News

A pilot and plane that have been missing since Wednesday evening have been found near Chakachamna Lake at the base of Mt. Spurr north of the Cook Inlet.

A spokesperson for the Kenai Civil Air Patrol said four private planes left Soldotna early Thursday morning to search for the missing pilot, he said the plane was found on the ice of the lake.

“The airplane apparently had broken through the lake ice, the pilot was found at the site,” said Chief of the Alaska Regional Office of the National Transportation Safety Board Clint Johnson.

The red and white Cessna 180 left Soldotna for the lake on Wednesday and was scheduled to return by 4 p.m., but did not, according to a KTUU news story.

The plane was found at about 11 a.m. on Thursday, said Henry Knackstedt of the Civil Air Patrol.

A Black Hawk helicopter was sent to rescue the pilot who was transported to Central Peninsula Hospital with minor or no injuries, Johnston said.

The Civil Air Patrol was working with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Guard during the search. The Coast Guard issued an emergency broadcast in Anchorage listing the plane as missing.

Alaska’s Rescue Coordination Center forwarded inquiries to the Coast Guard’s public affairs office, which forwarded inquiries back to the Rescue Coordination Center. A person answering phones at the center said not to call again and hung up.

No one from the public affairs office has since returned phone calls seeking details about the incident.

“It’s a great outcome. We’re very happy to see that,” Johnson said. “We’ve been following this all night.”

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com

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