One Pilot Dies in Midair Crash Near Nightmute

Two planes flown by lone commercial pilots who were friends collided outside of Nightmute Friday.  The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.  A Cessna 208 belonging to Grant Aviation plunged to the tundra and burned, taking the life of Scott Veal, 24, of Kenai.  The other plane was a 207 belonging to Ryan Air.  It was piloted by Kristen Sprague, 26.  She was able to land on the tundra despite severe wing damage from the collision.  NTSB investigator Clint Johnson says the two pilots were in touch by radio.

Sprague was flying to Bethel from Tununak and Veal was flying to Bethel from Tooksook Bay.

Sunday, Johnson said  pilot Sprague lost track of the other plane shortly before it struck her plane’s right wing about 800 feet above ground.

It was the state’s third midair crash since July.

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