Rescuers found the bodies of two people who were on board an airplane that crashed near Eaglecrest Ski Area Monday, according to a release from the Alaska State Troopers.
The bodies are identified as those of Charles Luck, 77, and his wife Liping Tang-Luck, 51, both of Anchorage, the release stated. Next of kin has been notified, however, poor weather and steep terrain is preventing recovery of the bodies, the release stated. The site is a hike of 3.5 miles over an elevation gain of 1,800 feet from the lodge at Eaglecrest, which was used as a base of operations for the rescue and recovery.
Luck owned and was flying the single-engine Cessna 182 from Hoonah to Juneau when it crashed. The U.S. Coast Guard was first alerted to a missing plane at 6:43 a.m. Sunday from Flight Service Station Juneau when Luck did not make a scheduled check-in with the airport. He last made contact with airport control when he was 10 miles from landing.
Individuals with Juneau Mountain Rescue found the bodies Monday afternoon in an 800-square-foot field of debris from the wrecked plane. Searchers found that field Sunday evening in an area known as the Wedding Bowl. It is located between Mount Ben Stewart and Fish Creek Knob on North Douglas. However, a combination of poor weather, rough terrain and looming darkness prevented workers from sifting through the wreckage until Monday, a trooper said Sunday.
According to Doug Wessen, with the Juneau Mountain Rescue, once JMR members discovered the wreckage and bodies they then led, a State Trooper, Federal Aviation Administration personnel and National Transportation Safety Board investigators to the crash site, to ensure their safety in the steep alpine conditions. After the crash site was investigated JMR members escorted the FAA and NTSB off the mountain.
Coast Guard Sector Juneau initially deployed a 25-foot Response Boat and Air Station Sitka a Jayhawk helicopter and searched water areas near Colt and Horse islands, until the plane’s emergency locator reported from the mountain area near Eaglecrest.
The troopers have not said what caused the crash.
The rescue/recovery effort was conducted by members of Juneau Mountain Rescue, the Coast Guard, the troopers, the Civil Air Patrol, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.