Troopers recover missing pilot’s body from Yukon River; plane crash under investigation

A Cessna aircraft in the skies above Nome. (Photo: David Dodman, KNOM)

Missing pilot Kyle Stevens of Russian Mission has been found deceased at the bottom of the Yukon River.

According to Alaska State Troopers, a Cessna 205, Stevens’ aircraft, was found last week in the Yukon River about 10 miles away from Russian Mission, but the pilot was unaccounted for.

Tim DeSpain, a spokesperson with AST, said around 7 p.m. Friday, Stevens’ remains were recovered along with other parts of his plane from about 20 feet of water:

“There were still parts of the plane that were not pulled out of the river initially,” DeSpain said. Alaska State Troopers using a boat-mounted SONAR were able to get a better map of the bottom of the river, and the location of the wreck, and locate the remaining portion of the plane that was still in the river.”

DeSpain could not comment on the cause of death but says Stevens’ body has been sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.

In regards to why Stevens’ plane crashed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Alaska is looking into that. Noreen Price, aviation accident investigator with NTSB, said two investigators made it to the crash site and completed an on-scene examination.

Price stated that the investigation is in the beginning stages, and a report of NTSB’s preliminary findings is expected to be released within a week.

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Davis Hovey is a news reporter at KNOM - Nome. Hovey was born and raised in Virginia. He spent most of his childhood in Greene County 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville where University of Virginia is located. Hovis was drawn in by the opportunity to work for a radio station in a remote, unique place like Nome Alaska. Hovis went to Syracuse University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Broadcast Digital Journalism.