NTSB Releases Nightmute Collision Report
The third mid-air collision of the year occured September 2 approximately nine miles north of Nightmute.
"Whatever you do, don't pull up."
That was one of the last things Scott Veal said to fellow pilot Kirsten Sprague before his Cessna 208B spun out of control, crashed into the tundra and burst into flames.
The third mid-air collision of the year occured September 2 approximately nine miles north of Nightmute, and today the National Transportation Safety Board released their preliminary report on the accident.
According to the report, 26-year-old Sprague and 24-year-old Veal had a "close personal relationship," and had been flying to Bethel from neighboring villages along similar flight routes.
The planes had been flying side-by-side when suddenly, Veal pulled his plane up and over the top of Sprague's Cessna 207.
The next thing she knew, there was a crash.
Sprague told NTSB investigators that Veal's plane had collided with her left wing.
She told him over the radio she thought she was going to crash. As Veal's plane veered away from hers and began a steep dive towards the ground, he said he thought he was, too.
Moments later, the Cessna 208B hit the ground and burst into flames.
Sprague landed safely about a mile away.
The Cessna 207 was operated by Anchorage-based Ryan Air, and the Cessna 208B was operated by Grant Aviation Inc.
The NTSB is working on a final report on the collision.