Troopers ID pilot in fatal crash near Tyonek
The pilot and sole occupant of a plane crash that crashed Wednesday night near Tyonek, on the west side of Cook Inlet, has been found dead.
Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska chief, said Friday that the pilot's remains had been recovered from the Piper PA-18 Super Cub's crash site, at the east end of Chakachamna Lake. An NTSB investigator and Alaska State Troopers reached the crash site Thursday afternoon.
Johnson said the plane had struck a stand of trees, and its wreckage was "fragmented" at the scene.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the pilot's next of kin have been notified; troopers identified him as 35-year-old Jason Walkush, of Anchorage.
"It's a pretty bad wreck," Peters said.
The 11th Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center received a satellite signal from the Piper's 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter about 50 miles west of Tyonek just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to a trooper dispatch. Johnson said the center informed NTSB officials of the signal early Thursday, sending a rescue mission at first light which found the pilot's body.
In December, a small plane carrying pilot Kyle Longerbeam as well as three members of the Blom family crashed en route from Port Alsworth to Anchorage. NTSB investigators said the Piper PA-28 apparently sank after crashing on Lake Clark, with all four people on board missing and presumed dead.