July 20th, 2012|
July 20, 2012
An Australian couple died Wednesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. in a small plane accident near Fairbanks, Alaska, reports Mercury News.
Leased to a Palo Alto-based flight club, West Valley Flying Club, the single engine Piper Saratoga II disappeared from radar while traveling from Fort Yukon to Fairbanks.
Three hours later, the Alaskan Civil Air patrol spotted the burning wreckage in a remote area 40 miles north of Fairbanks. Alaskan State Troopers identified the 64-year-old pilot and his 60-year-old passenger wife, both of Queensland, Australia.
Conditions were reported to be poor on Wednesday in the area where the couple’s plane crashed. State authorities worked in inclement weather to recover the victims.
The six-seater plane belongs to LNP Saratoga, Inc., and was leased to the West Valley Flying Club. The president of LNP said that the couple was traveling with another West Valley plane and one from Sundance Flying Club.
“The other two pilots made it okay to Fairbanks, but the weather was turning quite bad,” he said. “It’s really an unfortunate accident.”
The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Board and the Federal Aviation Association. The cause remains unknown at this time. Preliminary reports are expected in about two weeks.