Report: Witness saw 'aggressive flight maneuvers' before fatal Girdwood plane crash
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the plane crash near Girdwood last week that killed all four people on board.
According to Alaska State Troopers, the crash happened on Goat Mountain about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4. A rescue helicopter flew over the scene and confirmed there were no survivors.
In its report, the NTSB says a friend of the plane’s owner said the purpose of the trip was a short aerial tour of the Girdwood area.
The Piper Tri-Pacer took off from Girdwood Airport about 4:15 p.m. The pilot was a certified flight instructor. One of the passengers was the plane’s registered owner who was rated as a student pilot.
Witnesses reported the plane was flying parallel to a mountain ridge before turning and starting to descend.
One man said the pilot was attempting aggressive maneuvers, pitching up and going into a steep climb shortly before smoke was reported from Goat Mountain.
The plane hit the ridgeline at about 5,500 feet before coming to rest on rock shelf about 75 feet lower down.
While some small pieces of the wreckage were found on the opposite side of the ridge, the majority of the aircraft was consumed by fire after the crash.
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