Rotating Propeller Kills Wasilla Man In Wrangell-St. Elias

A Wasilla man is dead after an accident in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. According to Park officials, 62-year-old Clark J. Baldwin was killed instantly when he backed into a spinning plane propeller.

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Peter Christian is the District Ranger:

“So what we know with the early reports of the investigation are is that there were four Super Cub airplanes at the Peavine strip within the Park, and all four of them were running, the engines were running, and Mr. Baldwin was outside of his own aircraft attempting to help one of the other airplanes when he accidentally backed up into his own prop, and was killed instantly.”

The accident happened around 11 am on Thursday. Christian says it was 2 pm before Park rangers were able to get to the site. The Peavine Bar Strip is about 15 miles East of McCarthy.

“There were seven people total there, including Mr. Baldwin so the six survivors said he was killed instantly, so there was really no medical response at that point. We received the call for help through a satellite phone. The Troopers received the initial call, but they had no air assets or available personnel as close as the Park Service did, so the National Park Service rangers responded. ”

Park Service officials have recovered the body. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

Baldwin was the sole occupant of his plane at the time of the accident. Christian says that the deceased was the owner of Alaska Cub Training Specialists, a flying club based in Wasilla, and was a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force.