69° F
Light Rain
Light Rain

Tatitna Plane Crash: Troopers Recover Big Lake Pilot's Body

Published On: Aug 31 2013 01:03:44 PM AKDT   Updated On: Sep 01 2013 07:00:46 PM AKDT
Tatitna Plane Crash: Troopers Recover Big Lake Pilot's Body

A plane crash killed the pilot and injured a passenger in Tatitna near McGrath Friday evening, according to the National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska State Troopers.

Passenger 30-year-old Traeger Anderson, of Wasilla, identified the pilot as 58-year-old Scott Mueller, of Big Lake. According to troopers, the crash was reported via a satellite phone.

Troopers say the plane crash happened shortly before 9 p.m. Friday and Anderson suffered minor injuries, instead of serious injuries as originally reported by the NTSB. The Rescue Coordination Center responded to the scene and transported Anderson to a local hospital.

Clint Johnson, chief of the NTSB in Anchorage, says a Piper PA-18 Super Cub crashed during takeoff, landed into trees at the end of a 1,200-ft gravel airstrip and burst into flames.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Saturday, troopers say an Aniak-based trooper charted a plane and landed at the airstrip.

“The chief pilot for Magnuson Airways out of McGrath was instrumental in transporting the trooper and recovering the remains before flying them to McGrath,” Beth Ipsen, AST spokesperson, said in an early Saturday evening update.

Mueller’s body will be flown from McGrath to Anchorage to the State Medical Examiner’s office for final positive identification.

On Saturday morning, Johnson and another investigator were in Sutton investigating the plane crash that killed Adam Norton, 30, and Derrik Swanson, 31, both of Palmer.

According to Johnson, 30 people have been killed in plane crashes as of late August, compared to nine people killed around the same time last year.

Based on a preliminary NTSB report, two people were killed a week ago in a plane crash at Merrill Field in Anchorage due to an engine failure.

On July 7, a plane crash at the Soldotna airport killed 10 people, including a Nikiski pilot two families from South Carolina.

An NTSB investigator will be sent to the Tatitna scene to investigate. Tatitna is about 73 miles southeast of McGrath.

Contact Neil Torquiano