Pilot Chris Maize & Passenger Andrew Broders Both Died In McCarthy Mail Plane Crash

Almost $9,000 Raised On GoFundMe In Only Two Days For Lari Maize, Wife Of Pilot Who Died On February 4th Near Chitina  Chris Maize, Pilot (G...

Almost $9,000 Raised On GoFundMe In Only Two Days For Lari Maize, Wife Of Pilot Who Died On February 4th Near Chitina 

Chris Maize, Pilot (GoFundMe Site)

On Thursday, February 11th, Copper Valley Air pilot Chris Maize, 45 and his passenger Andrew Broders, 36 of Washington State were formally identified as the persons killed in a plane crash in the Copper Valley a week before.

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was notified of the Cessna 185 plane crash near Chitina in Wrangell-St. Elias Park after an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) was activated. The crash occurred at around 11:41 am on Thursday, February 4th, the National Park Service said.

The bodies were recovered on Saturday, February 6th, after rescuers made a landing spot in the difficult terrain in order to safely get to the crash.

The mail plane is contracted with Copper Valley Air, of Gulkana Airport, and travels year-round to McCarthy on Mondays and Thursdays.

Map of approximate crash site (Google Earth)

The Alaska Air National Guard responded to the crash site, which was remote. When they initially located the plane they found no survivors.

The plane crashed around 13 miles northeast of Chitina in a wooded area on a gradual slope. Alaska State Troopers and the National Park Service worked together to get to the crash site to recover the bodies.

On Friday, February 5th, the National Transportation Safety Board said the plane might have broken in two while in the air. 

It was around 20 below zero at the time of the crash, and the weather in the Copper Valley stabilized at around zero degrees by February 6th. 

The National Transportation & Safety Board's Alaska Chief, Clint Johnson, has been quoted as saying the front of the downed Cessna was found by their helicopter crew in one spot, and the tail around 200 yards away – which indicates the plane fell apart while in flight.

A GoFundMe site for the family of Chris Maize was put up on the internet, and had raised $8,925 of its $10,000 goal in only two days by noon on February 11th.


The site said:

Our friend, Chris Maize, was unexpectedly called to his heavenly home on February 4th flying in the Wrangell Mountains. Chris is survived by his loving wife, Lari, and two daughters, Junior and Rusty.  Chris was a gentle, kind and humble man who was a diligent and careful pilot who loved sharing Alaska and the National Park with visitors.   In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made here. Additional funds will go to a scholarship in Chris' name. 

We are very appreciative of the support from our friends, family, and community during these difficult times.

Bison herd on Upper Chitina River as seen from the air. (Photo, Neil Hannan)


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