ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska State Troopers said Friday morning that 56-year-old Kevin Murray, of Washington, was the pilot killed in the crash of a missing plane in Southeast Alaska near Gustavus.
A white and teal Piper Cherokee from Air Excursions, LLC, with only the pilot on board was en route from Juneau to Gustavus and reported missing around 9:17 a.m. Thursday, according to the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard Lt. Ryan Erickson, the incident management division chief for Coast Guard Sector Juneau, said a pilot with Juneau-based Coastal Helicopters spotted the wreckage at about 3 p.m. Thursday about 23 miles west of Juneau. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Sitka subsequently delivered searchers with Juneau Mountain Rescue to the scene, who found the pilot dead at about 4:30 p.m.
The plane was scheduled to arrive at 8:55 a.m. and was last heard from around 8:47 a.m. near Point Howard. Both the Coastal Helicopters and Coast Guard choppers spent much of the day searching for the plane.
“It is extremely unfortunate that we were unable to rescue the pilot and our deepest condolences go out to his family,” Erickson said. “We thank all the personnel who have taken part in the search.”