Wreckage of Yute Air Plane Found

This is a developing story.

Searchers have found the wreckage of the Yute Air plane that’s been missing since Saturday morning. A team Sunday evening spotted the Cessna 207 in the Kwethluk River, about 40 miles southeast of Bethel.

According to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, a Yute pilot first spotted the downed airplane in the river at about 6:45 Sunday evening. A civil air patrol pilot confirmed the wreck moments later. Crews on a jet boat and helicopter left early today to go to the scene.

Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers.

“We have our troopers as well as other agencies, including the National Transportation Safety Board, going to the site to look at the wreckage, to look at the circumstances, to hopefully recover the pilot,” said Peters.

The plane left Bethel at about 8:30 Saturday morning after a maintenance check and should have been back in three hours. It never returned.

Yute Air offices in Bethel were closed yesterday and remain closed today. Yute Air serves the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, providing flights for passengers and freight to more than 20 surrounding villages as well as charters around the state.

Original Story:

A search is on for a Yute Air pilot who did not return from a flight out of Bethel Saturday. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center is in charge of the search and rescue operation. Troopers and others are assisting in the search.

Searchers say the missing plane is a Cessna 207. According to National Transportation Safety Board officials the flight left Bethel Saturday morning after maintenance and never returned.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety is providing aircraft to assist in coordination with the civil air patrol and military assets.

Yute Air offices in Bethel were closed yesterday and remain closed this morning. Yute Air serves the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, providing flights for passengers and freight to more than 20 surrounding villages as well as charters around the state.

Daysha Eaton contributed to this story.