Small plane found in Denali National Park

Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A plane that carried a pilot and a wolf biologist who went missing while searching for wolves in Denali National Park was found Thursday.

Park spokeswoman Kris Fister said the white and blue Cessna 185 that carried biologist Gordon Haber and pilot Daniel McGregor was spotted in some trees on a mountainside near the east fork of the Toklat River about seven miles downstream from the park road.

Fister said an Alaska State Trooper and two Park Service employees were headed to the site Thursday evening to get ground confirmation. There was no immediate word on Haber or McGregor's condition.

The plane took off at about noon Wednesday and was supposed to return by nightfall. The Park Service was notified at about midnight that the plane was overdue.

Haber, an independent biologist who for decades has studied Denali's wolves, is a frequent visitor to the 6 million-acre park in south-central Alaska.

"He has been here and doing research in this area for many years," Fister said. "Obviously, he is very familiar with the park."

The weather in the park on Wednesday was clear with some low-lying fog banks. Winds were calm. On Thursday, the weather was mostly overcast with a trace of snow.

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