Two pilots are dead after a fiery plane crash Tuesday night just outside Bethel.
Alaska State Troopers have identified the pilots who were onboard the Hageland Cessna 208 Caravan as Derrick Cedars, 42, of Bethel and Greggory McGee, 46, of Anchorage.
Ravn Alaska spokesperson Steve Smith confirms the downed plane was a Hageland training flight.
“We are sending an investigator from the Anchorage office of the NTSB. His name is Chris Shaver. We also have two other individuals who are going to be joining the investigative team, one investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA as well as an additional investigator from a technical side from Cessna aircraft,” Clint Johnson, Chief of the Alaska Regional Office of the National Transportation Safety Board, said. “Hopefully they’ll be on site there later this afternoon and possibly make it to the accident site tonight to at least start their on scene potion of the investigation.”
Troopers say the crash happened just after 6 p.m. Within the hour a pilot reported burned wreckage near Three Step Mountain close to a fishing weir. The Alaska Army Guard in Bethel dispatched a Blackhawk helicopter with local fire personnel and Alaska State Troopers on board in an attempt to locate survivors.
Troopers arrived on scene and observed a large debris field and the willows around the crash site were burned and charred. Troopers were able to locate remains in the wreckage. They’ll return to the crash site Wednesday to further investigate as well as continue recovery efforts.
Next of kin for the pilots have been notified.
Hageland Aviation flies under the banner of Ravn Connect, a company operated by Ravn Alaska, formerly known as Era Alaska.
Four people died in November when an Era Cessna 208 Caravan passenger flight crashed outside St. Mary’s. The exact cause of that crash has not been determined.