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5 Family Members Die in Cessna Crash in Anchorage

May 31, 2011

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Five people died in a plane crash near Anchorage, Alaska’s Birchwood Airport on Friday morning—killing a 46-year-old flight mechanic, his 69-year-old mother, 12-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter.

At about 10:15 a.m. the single-engine Cessna 180 plane crashed and exploded on railroad tracks located a half-mile from the airport. The flames were so high and so furious that witnesses say there's almost nothing left of the plane. The cause of the crash hasn’t yet been determined.

“It just looked like he couldn’t push the nose down,” a witness told “I watched it, but it’s hard to say what happened. The engine was running fine; there was nothing wrong with the engine. We went running over there, but they were dead on impact; it was engulfed in flames.”

The family, all from Eagle River, was heading to the small Alaskan town of Seldovia for the Memorial Day weekend.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it's investigating the cause of the fatal aviation accident.

Read more.

Do you think small planes need to be checked more frequently for safety concerns?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the aviation accident lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.

Photo courtesy of Associated Press

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