Survivors found after Peninsula airplane crash

Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2000

Rescuers today found two survivors in a small plane that crashed Wednesday night in a mountainous area of the Alaska Peninsula.

The fate of two other people on the plane was unclear as of about noon today. The plane was in a precarious position and rescuers were attempting to secure it with ropes, said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ray Massey.

"The place where this plane is resting is very unstable," Massey said.

The Cessna 180 was reported overdue at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. It was returning to the Painter Creek Lodge, about 90 miles southwest of King Salmon, from a fishing trip to Amber Bay. Two planes were traveling together when they hit thick clouds while crossing the spine of the Alaska Peninsula, Massey said.

"Visibility was very poor and the clouds closed in," he said.

One plane turned back, but the other wasn't able to and crashed.

Coast Guard searchers picked up an emergency locator signal in the area Wednesday night.

Searchers this morning found the plane with the fuselage intact. A rescuer was lowered from a helicopter and found the two survivors, who remained on the plane. A pilot and three passengers were on board, but it was unclear which of the people were found alive, Massey said.

Troopers were heading to the site to aid in the rescue efforts, Massey said.

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