Wreckage of aircraft spotted near Yakataga, en route to Ketchikan


The search Monday for a plane missing northeast of the Gulf of Alaska was hampered by bad weather, authorities said. (Update: Wreckage has been spotted in the area, but the plane has not been positively identified through its tail number.)

The Alaska State Troopers were notified Sunday of an overdue Beechcraft Bonanza believed to be carrying a pilot and a passenger. The plane left Gulkana Airport near Glennallen just before 9 a.m., en route to Ketchikan.

The last known communication with the plane was about 18 miles inland from Cape Yakataga, troopers said. The area is known for its very mountainous terrain.

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center launched an Alaska Air National Guard HC-130 Monday morning. It encountered bad weather in the area, with clouds as low as 100 feet, but picked tip no emergency locator transmission signal. A Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched but had an engine problem and had to cancel. The search was put on hold for weather.

Troopers have notified families for the two souls believed to be on the aircraft.

According to bush pilots in Alaska, there was no communications from the plane before radar showed air traffic controllers that there was a spiral downward just north of Cape Yakutaga, north of Yakutat, before the signal dropped off the radar.

Pilots say the plane has a Garmin InReach satellite communications device onboard but it has not been activated.

The plane may be near the Leeper Glacier, north of Yakutaga airstrip, according to pilots who are familiar with the area.


  1. Suzanne, you have the wrong tail number. The tail number in this article belongs to my partner and we made it safely home!

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