Radar data revealed in a preliminary accident report says the plane that went missing on Oct. 13 from Soldotna may have crashed in the very early hours over Cook Inlet.
According to the report released by the National Transportation and Safety Board, 27-year-old student pilot Brendan Mattingley took off from the airport at 1:37 a.m. and did not file a flight plan. The radar showed that the plane changed direction multiple times and was last recorded at 2:48 a.m. over the waters of the Cook Inlet about 30 miles north of Soldotna. His family and friends reported him overdue the next day when he was meant to be in Palmer and an extensive search ensued. The search was called off on Oct. 23. The report says that Mattingley is assumed dead and the plane, a Piper PA-18 Super Cub, is presumed substantially damaged.