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Report offers more information on deadly Big Lake plane crash

By Dave Leval 3:42 PM August 15, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Federal investigators are focusing on what role alcohol may have played in the plane crash that killed attorney Christopher Cyphers and seriously injured his passenger.

Cyphers was flying a Piper PA-24-250 from Merrill Field Airport when he crashed near the Big Lake Airport Aug. 10.

Friday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report. According to witnesses and surveillance footage, Cyphers and his passenger were seen leaving an Anchorage bar around 1:19 a.m. Shortly after 2 a.m., an aircraft believed to be the accident plane departed from Merrill Field, the NTSB says.

Investigators declined to say if the two drank alcohol and are waiting for the results of toxicology tests.

The initial report also sheds more light on the final moments of the flight. Cyphers may have aborted his first approach to the airport.

The crash took place during the second attempt.

Cyphers’ passenger, Jennifer Roggenbuck, survived with life-threatening injuries.

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