Troopers identify victims of plane crash near Togiak
Alaska State Troopers have identified the passenger and two pilots killed recently when the Hageland Aviation Cessna 208B they were in en route from Quinhagak to Togiak slammed into a mountainous area northwest of Togiak.
The passenger has been identified as Manokotak resident Louie John, 49.
Efforts to reach John's family members last week were unsuccessful.
His Facebook page paints a quick picture: He was a Bristol Bay commercial fisherman. He loved boating. He was part of a successful moose hunt this fall.
"You were always there to lend a hand and never expected anything in return," one man wrote. "I call that a true friend."
The two pilots have been identified as Timothy Cline, 43, of Homer, and Drew Welty, 29, of Anchorage, according to troopers.
Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said last week all three bodies have been recovered from the aircraft, which National Transportation Safety Board investigators said was "highly fragmented" in the crash.
Ravn issued a statement this week offering condolences to the families of those killed in the crash of Flight 3153. The company said its priorities since the crash have included working with family and friends of those involved, as well as agencies investigating the crash.
"While Alaska is the largest state in the union, it still has the connectedness and heart of a small community, so these losses are far-reaching and felt deeply," Ravn Group chairman and CEO Bob Hajdukovich said in the statement.
Two investigators with the NTSB spent last Wednesday in Palmer at the operational control center run by Hageland Aviation, the airline that does business as Ravn Connect, said Clint Johnson, NTSB's Alaska chief.
They spent two days at the crash site on a remote mountainside before making it back to Anchorage Tuesday night, Johnson said.
The flight, which originated in Bethel, operated under visual flight rules, meaning those monitoring the weather believed visibility was good, Johnson said.
The investigation into the cause remains in early stages, he said.
Alaska Dispatch News reporters Lisa Demer and Jerzy Shedlock contributed to this report. This story first appeared in Alaska Dispatch News and is reprinted here with permission.