Four Dead In Midair Collision In Alaska

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, July 31 (UPI) — Four people died in a midair collision between two small float planes over Alaska’s Amber Lake about 90 miles northeast of Anchorage, officials said.

The dead were aboard a Cessna 180 that crashed and burned Saturday after colliding with a Cessna 206 above the lake, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The pilot of the second plane, Kevin Earp, 56, of Eagle River, its only occupant, was uninjured and decided to land his damaged aircraft at Anchorage to take advantage of its runway and safety equipment.

The single-engine planes collided about 2:15 p.m. and the Cessna 180 burst into flames upon impact with the ground. The victims’ bodies were recovered, but their identities weren’t immediately available.

“When our responders got on scene, the plane was fully engulfed in flames,” said Dennis Brodigan, emergency services director for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Responders extinguished the blaze with fire extinguishers.

National Transportation Safety Board officials said Earp reported the accident. NTSB investigator Larry Lewis said Earp’s aircraft had heavy damage to its pontoons.

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