Pilot dies in crash near Chuathbaluk
A pilot from Aniak died when his airplane crashed near the village of Chuathbaluk last week, said Alaska State Troopers. On November 29, 2011, at about 7:05pm, an Inland Aviation Cessna 207 departed Aniak for Chuathbaluk. On board the aircraft was the sole occupant and owner of the company, 61 year old Stephen Hill of Aniak. Individuals reported that the runway lights activated in Chuathbaluk, but the Inland plane did not arrive. Additionally, around the time the lights activated a significant snow squall commenced, which made landing at the airport nearly impossible.
State Troopers were notified that the plane did not land in Chuathbaluk and it was not located in Aniak. A short time later residents of Chuathbaluk reported hearing a plane stall near the village, but its location was unknown. At about 9:15pm hours, Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers arrived in Chuathbaluk, where aided by volunteer searchers from both Aniak and Chuathbaluk, searched the village and downstream from Chuathbaluk. On 11-30-11, at about 1:45am, ground searchers and troopers located the plane approximately 3 miles southwest of Chuathbaluk in a heavily forested area. The plane was a total loss and Hill appeared to have died on impact. The State Medical Examiner’s Office was notified and an autopsy was requested. Next of kin was notified. The NTSB and FAA were notified and they will be responding to Aniak to investigate.