One dead in small plane crash near Western Alaska village

Posted: Sunday, June 08, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A 33-year-old California man died after the small plane he was flying crashed near a Western Alaska village, and authorities are looking for the pilot of another plane traveling with him.

Alaska State Troopers said Shaun Lunt of Loma Linda, Calif., was dead at the scene of the crash Friday night. Lunt's Piper Super Cub went down near Jacksmith Bay about 17 miles south of Quinhagak.

Troopers said the other pilot, Loni Habersetzer of Washington state, also was flying a Super Cub and landed safely but left for unknown reasons. He is being sought by authorities.

Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said troopers flying over the site saw the burning wreckage and reported the crash. They also spotted Habersetzer's plane nearby, and radioed for him to stay put, but he and the plane were gone by the time they were able to return, Ipsen said.

According to troopers, the pilots did not file a flight plan, but bought fuel in Dillingham before flying north. Their destination is unknown.

According to Habersetzer's Web site, he is a bush pilot trainer and consultant doing business as Cubdriver 749er LLC.

On the site, he says he lives and flies commercially for a guide service in Alaska. He says he has more than 7,000 hours in Super Cubs and has logged more than 16,000 off-airport takeoffs and landings.

"I have made the off-airport environment my specialty," he says on the Web site.

Lunt, an anesthesiologist, was a Habersetzer alumni, according to a May 1 article about Habersetzer in the Smithsonian's Air & Space Magazine.

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