Anchorage, AK Commuter Plane Crashes, Feb 1985


Anchorage, Alaska (AP) -- A commuter aircraft with nine people on board crashed and burst into flames while making an instrument approach in bad weather, leaving eight people dead and one missing, authorities say.
The twin-engine Beechcraft Queen Air went down at 8:20 p.m. (12:20 a.m. EST) yesterday about one mile east of Soldatna International Airport, according to PAUL STEUCKE, Federal Aviation Administrator public affairs officer for Alaska.
The plane carried seven passengers and two crew members, according to JAMES MICHELANGELO, Alaska director of the National Transportation Safety Board. The bodies of eight people were found and another was missing and presumed to be inside the wreckage, he said.
"One they can't find," MICHELANGELO said. "They think he's under the aircraft."
Alaska State Troopers said a search party of foot reached the crash site, about 60 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula, at 10 p.m. A doctor at the scene pronounced eight people dead.
"The aircraft was destroyed. All aboard suffered fatal injuries," MICHELANGELO said.
Temperatures in the area were hovering around 30 degrees, he said.
Weather conditions near the airport were described as poor with freezing rain, STEUCKE said.
The plane was owned and operated by North Pacific Airlines of Anchorage. Owner ROY MUSGROVE, said he was unable to comment on the accident when reached by telephone.
The plane was en route from Anchorage to Soldatna on a flight that normally takes 30 minutes.
MICHELANGELO said the plane was attempting to make an instrument landing, but missed its approach and went around again when radio contact was lost, he said.
The crash site was discovered by CLAY NORMAN, a pilot for MAC, a missionary service operating out of Soldatna, STEUCKE said.
A seven-member NTSB team from Washington, D. C., was en route to the scene.

The Capital Annapolis Maryland 1985-02-05