Pilot In Fatal Plane Crash Identified

Juneau Mountain Rescue personnel and an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew prepare to depart Juneau Thursday en route to the crash site of a downed small plane reported overdue on a flight from Juneau to Gustavus. (Photo Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard/Scott Giard)

Alaska State Troopers have identified the pilot who died in yesterday’s plane crash near Juneau.

He’s 56-year-old Kevin Murray from Washington state. Family has been notified, and Trooper Tim Birt says crews will attempt to recover the body and plane this afternoon, if the weather improves.

Murray was the only person on board the Piper Cherokee owned by Air Excursions when it went down at about 8:50 yesterday morning near Point Howard, 23 miles west of Juneau.

He had been due into Gustavus at 8:55 and last made contact around 8:47.

An aerial search by the Coast Guard and Coastal Helicopters launched about 9:15 yesterday morning. The Coastal crew spotted the wrecked plane about 3 o’ clock in the afternoon. A team from Juneau Mountain Rescue was dropped near the crash site and found Murray’s body around 4:30 p.m.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.