Authorities ID pilot from crash near Wasilla

Posted: Thursday, July 16, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers have identified the pilot who died when a small plane crashed near Wasilla as 73-year-old Paul Reinders, of Santa Rosa, Calif.

The pilot and a passenger previously identified as 63-year-old Robert Whitesell, of Mustang, Okla., were the only two people aboard when the plane went down Tuesday morning. Troopers said the bodies were badly burned, and official identification may require dental records.

Reinders was the plane's registered owner.

Trooper Lt. Patrick Davis said witnesses reported hearing an explosion moments after the plane took off from Kalmbach Lake.

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