At least 1 dead after plane crash in Wasilla
One person is dead after a plane crash at Wasilla Airport, according to Ken Barkley, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s deputy chief of emergency services.
According to a Facebook post from the Wasilla Police Department, officers are on the scene at the airport. The department stated there is one person confirmed dead.
On Monday, the City of Wasilla identified that person as 61-year-old John Hutchison of Big Lake; he was the only person onboard.
The crash happened on takeoff at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, said Clint Johnson with the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Federal Aviation Administration had classified the aircraft as experimental. Johnson said it's an uncommon one. "This aircraft is a home-built, amateur-built, aerobatic-type airplane."
Johnson said indications are that the plane "maybe stayed in ground effect for just a short amount of time which was followed by a very, very steep climb, then the left wing dropped and unfortunately descended into the accident site nose first." The crash site includes the roadway, where the aircraft split into pieces on impact.
Some of the people who witnessed the crash were pilots, which Johnson said is particularly valuable to investigators.
Johnson says the NTSB has brought in help from Outside to assist with recent investigations. "Obviously the last couple weeks have been exceptionally busy, but we're handling it. We did have to bring someone up from the Lower 48 to give us a hand, but it's historically and unfortunately a busy time for us."
The incident is being investigated by the FAA and the NTSB, Wasilla police wrote.
KTVA's Heather Hintze contributed to this report.
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