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Plane examined for clues to cause of fatal Anchorage crash

James Halpin
Matt Breiler receives an award from Gov. Sean Parnell as one of 50 heroes honored for their efforts to rescue victims from a June 1 plane crash in Fairview at a ceremony Thursday evening at Central Middle School. Parnell, Mayor Dan Sullivan and Chief of Police Mark Mew presented awards to the civilians, military personnel and police officers who responded to the crash in time to save four of the five occupants of the plane.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and bystanders attempt to free victims trapped inside a Cessna 206 which crashed at the corner of 7th Avenue and Ingra Street in Anchorage on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
Photo courtesy Adan Hernandez
Anchorage Police and citizens respond to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Photo courtesy John Pavlicek
Anchorage Police and citizens respond to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Photo courtesy John Pavlicek
Anchorage Police and Firefighters respond to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and bystanders attempt to free victims trapped inside a Cessna 206 which crashed at the corner of 7th Avenue and Ingra Street in Anchorage on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
Photo courtesy Adan Hernandez
Anchorage Police and bystanders attempt to free victims trapped inside a Cessna 206 which crashed at the corner of 7th Avenue and Ingra Street in Anchorage on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
Photo courtesy Adan Hernandez
Anchorage Police and Firefighters respond to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters responded to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters responded to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage firefighters finish putting out the blaze at the scene of a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Michael Chester of Denver was working on a bicycle in his room when he felt the plane bounce off the roof of Ingra House before it crashed across the street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street. "I heard a smack and I heard the tin. I looked out the window and I kinda seen it hit and bounce right up into that building." Chester, an ironworker, only arrived Sunday night to look for work in Alaska. He was busy an hour after the crash calling friends to tell them what just happened. "I've been in Alaska not even two days yet!"
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage firefighters finish putting out the blaze at the scene of a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
A survivor of a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street is rushed to the hospital on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters responded to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters respond to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters responded to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
An Anchorage firefighter takes a survivor of a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street to a waiting ambulance on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Police and Firefighters responded to a plane crash at 7th Avenue and Ingra Street on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News

The cause of an airplane crash in Fairview that killed one person and severely injured four remained a mystery on Wednesday, with federal investigators saying there had been no communications from the plane to offer a glimpse into what went wrong.

The Cessna 206 went down with five aboard just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, killing 4-year-old Miles Cavner, who was trapped in the wreckage at Seventh Avenue and Ingra Street when the airplane burst into flames.

His parents, Preston Cavner, 34, and Stacie Cavner, 32, along with another son, Hudson Cavner, 2, were critically injured but survived the crash after passersby pulled them from the wreckage. They were flown to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore., where they remained in critical condition Wednesday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Another woman on board, 16-year-old Rachel Zientak of Texas, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she remained in serious condition, a spokeswoman there said. Police said Zientak was an employee of the Cavners, who operate Stonewood Lodge at Port Alsworth.

The National Transportation Safety Board began an examination of the wreckage in Wasilla on Wednesday and were to be joined by a representative from Cessna today to help with technical expertise on the aircraft, said Clint Johnson, senior air safety investigator for the safety board.

Much of the airplane was incinerated in the fire that broke out after impact, potentially destroying clues about what went wrong.

Investigators were also talking to the many witnesses but had not yet been able to talk to the pilot or his family because of the injuries they sustained, Johnson said.

"Initial indications are from (air traffic control) that there were no mayday calls, but we are going to be reviewing the tapes just to make absolutely sure," Johnson said.

Photos: Plane crash at Seventh and Ingra
By JAMES HALPIN
jhalpin@adn.com