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Pilot killed in Southeast Alaska plane crash

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A pilot was killed in a plane crash in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska on Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

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The Piper Cherokee from Air Excursions LLC went missing Thursday morning while on its way to Gustavus. The plane was last heard from at 8:47 a.m. while it was near Point Howard, prompting a search.

The wreckage of the aircraft was located at 3 p.m. near Point Howard in the Tongass National Forest about 23 miles west of Juneau.

A Coast Guard helicopter put a four-man mountain rescue team on the ground about a half-mile from the crash site. At 4:24 p.m., the team arrived at the crash site to find the pilot of the aircraft deceased. Authorities had not released the pilot's name as of early Friday.

The Coast Guard is standing by to assist Alaska State Troopers with recovery operations Friday.