Plane Down Near Bethel, Two Reported Onboard

A Cessna 208 with two pilots on board has crashed outside of Bethel.

Ravn Alaska spokesperson Steve Smith confirms the downed plane was a Hageland Aviation training flight with two pilots on board, and no passengers.

State Troopers say the plane was overdue just after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and within the hour a local pilot reported seeing burning wreckage to troopers.

Clint Johnson, the Chief of the Alaska Regional Office of the National Transportation Safety Board, says a report came in of smoke on the horizon.

“When they investigated it they found what they believe was a Cessna 208 on the ground and it looks like there was a pretty substantial post crash fire, but we are very much in the formative stages,” Johnson said.

Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says an Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter responded with both troopers and fire personal on board and has located the wreckage.

Neither Peters nor Clint Johnson have information about the two pilots.

“This is an active rescue, at this point right now. Troopers have primacy, also the National Guard in Bethel. We wait until they’re done, and we take the investigation from there. At this point right now, it is an active search and rescue,” said Johnson.

An NTSB Investigator from Anchorage is traveling to Bethel Tuesday. Hageland Aviation flies under the banner of Ravn Connect, a company operated by Ravn Alaska, formerly known as Era Alaska.

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Daysha Eaton is the News Director at KBBI in Homer. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.