Alaska pilot convicted of lying to investigators after crash

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A 62-year-old Alaska commercial pilot in a 2014 crash near Atigun Pass has been convicted of obstruction of proceedings before federal agencies.

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that Forest Kirst of Fairbanks was convicted Monday of lying to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration following the crash.

The crash seriously injured Kirst and three Canadian tourists. One passenger died 35 days later.

The party on Aug. 24, 2014, took off from Bettles for a sightseeing trip.

The airplane circled a moose and afterward lacked power and altitude to clear Atigun Pass.

Prosecutors charged Kirst after he told investigators that he was at a higher altitude than GPS evidence showed and that his airplane dropped 1,500 feet (457 meters) just before the crash.

He will be sentenced Feb. 20.