Plane crash in Houston kills 23-year-old pilot

A light plane crashed in Houston yesterday afternoon, taking the life of a young pilot, 23-year-old Joseph Mielke of Big Lake.

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The NTSB is investigating the crash. The plane, a Cessna 150, was airborne briefly before it went down and burst into flames.

Millicent Hoidal, with the NTSB’s Alaska Aviation Safety Office, is leading the investigation into the accident.

“We arrived on scene at about 4:30 yesterday, and there was a post -impact fire. There were several witnesses that saw him depart, but no one saw the accident itself. And at about 9:00 last night, the wreckage was recovered and the road reopened. The wreckage will be stored at a secure location until a wreckage layout and exam can be done next week.”

Hoidal says the plane took off from a private air strip in Big Lake yesterday afternoon, made some turns and then went down. It crashed near Houston High School. The NTSB is expected to release a preliminary report next week. It is the 22nd air accident related death in Alaska this year.