Wreckage of small plane located, one fatality
August 03, 2012
Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report of a white and teal Piper Cherokee from Air Excursions, LLC. overdue on a flight from Juneau to Gustavus at approximately 9:17 a.m. Thursday prompting a search of the region by a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka and a helicopter from Coastal Helicopters in Juneau. The pilot was reported to be the sole occupant aboard the air plane at the time of disappearance.
The Coastal helicopter located the wreckage at about 3 p.m. Thursday near Point Howard in the Tongass National Forest 23 miles west of Juneau. The Coast Guard rescue helicopter delivered a four-man Juneau Mountain Rescue team to the ground approximately one half mile from the crash site. Upon arrival to the crash site at about 4:24 p.m. they located the pilot of plane who they determined to be deceased. The pilot was identified today by the Alaska State Troopers as 56 yoa Kevin Murray of Washington.
“It is extremely unfortunate that we were unable to rescue the pilot and our deepest condolences go out to his family,” said Lt. Ryan Erickson, Sector Juneau incident management division chief. “We thank all the personnel who have taken part in the search.”
The Juneau Mountain Rescue team was returned to Juneau aboard the Coast Guard helicopter. The Coast Guard is standing by to assist the Alaska State Troopers with recovery operations today.
The cause of the collision is unknown the incident is still under investigation.
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