Troopers & Emergency Responders Spend 5 Difficult Days Searching For A Pilot Who Left The Scene

HATCHER PASS ABANDONED CRASH  Troopers, Civil Air Patrol Volunteers & Guardsmen Searched For Days In High Winds & Low Visibility... ...


 Troopers, Civil Air Patrol Volunteers & Guardsmen Searched For Days In High Winds & Low Visibility... And Conducted A Ground Search 

Troopers Stress Importance Of Contacting FAA

The Alaska State Troopers are responding to a serious search effort that went on for days, involving a February 6th ELT beacon activation. Helicopter crews, volunteers on the ground, Wildlife Troopers and volunteer pilots all went out looking for survivors – for days. They finally found the plane, a 1946 Taylorcraft, on its back near Hatcher Pass. When they couldn't find the pilot, they sent out Air Guardsmen to look for him. The pilot had left the scene without telling the FAA. 

(Photo, Alaska State Troopers)


Location: Hatcher Pass
Type: Aircraft Crash

Dispatch Text:

On February 6, 2022, the Alaska State Troopers were notified of an ELT beacon activation from an unidentifiable aircraft. The signal was identified as somewhere East of the Parks Highway near Willow and Talkeetna. Troopers determined that there were no distress calls or reports of overdue aircraft in the area. The Alaska Civil Air Patrol, equipped with specialized equipment to determine ELT beacon locations, patrolled the area starting on February 6th to attempt to find the ELT beacon source. Eight CAP volunteer aircrew members searched for a total of five hours over multiple days, often being hampered by high winds and low visibility due to severe weather in the area, and also conducted a 13-hour ground search in an attempt to identify and locate the beacon. Over the search period, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers deployed their helicopter to the area to search for the beacon source and could not locate it. The Alaska Army National Guard also deployed a helicopter crew to the area to attempt to locate the beacon but were also unsuccessful.

After multiple days of searching by the Alaska Army National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and Alaska Wildlife Troopers, on the afternoon of February 10th CAP volunteer pilots located a 1946 Taylorcraft  BV12-D that was damaged and overturned in the area of Lynx Peak near Hatcher Pass. A rescue team from the Alaska Air National Guard immediately flew to the area. Upon arrival, rescue teams determined the plane was empty, with no apparent signs of injuries having occurred. The Air Guardsmen followed human tracks up the mountain where they stopped and were not able to locate any indication of the pilot’s current location.

The Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers immediately began efforts to determine if the pilot had coordinated his own extraction, and was no longer in the field. At approximately 6:35 pm on February 10th, Troopers contacted the pilot by telephone. The pilot had been flying by himself in the area on February 6. While attempting to land, his plane experienced a mechanical problem causing a hard landing. The aircraft was no longer airworthy, and he departed the area with another pilot in a different plane. The owner is working to remove the aircraft from the area, and the NTSB was notified of the incident.

The Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to remind pilots to notify the FAA if they are planning to leave an unsecured aircraft in the Alaska wilderness or if they crash but can self-rescue through a private party. The search and rescue efforts resulting from this operation cost thousands of dollars and took multiple Troopers, Guardsmen, and CAP volunteers away from other duties to coordinate and respond to this multi-day search.


Trooper News 1022930155759446091

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