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Alaska Beat

Facebook status update: My plane just crashed in Alaska

  • Author: Ben Anderson
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published June 25, 2012

A post Monday on the popular social website Reddit, where users can post links, news, and pictures from around the web, was an odd one: a simple image link under the title "I love this country" showed an anonymized Facebook status update with the following text:

"Just crashed a plane in the Alaskan wilderness, currently waiting on an island for rescue, and I STILL have Facebook access. I love this country."

The post was timestamped near Gustavus, Alaska, a small community of 460 in the island-riddled Southeast region of the state and about 50 miles from the state capital of Juneau.

Now, Reddit users occasionally make things up in order to get what's known as "karma" -- essentially positive feedback -- on the website, but this one appears to be legitimate. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a plane's engine cut out Monday before the pilot was able to safely land on a beach about 7 miles from Gustavus.

According to Clint Johnson, an investigator with the NTSB, the plane was able to glide in and safely land. No injuries were reported despite the wilderness landing.

The FAA preliminary accident report on the landing said that five people were aboard the Piper PA-32 Cherokee. The aircraft was registered to Air Excursions in Southeast.

That anonymous poster on Facebook was lucky to get a signal -- cell coverage in many of Alaska's more remote areas is spotty at best. The pilot of the plane was able to get in touch with someone to come out and lend a hand.

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