Skip to main Content
Alaska News

2 Fairbanks hunters found dead in wreckage of plane

Two Fairbanks men have been found dead in the wreckage of their crashed airplane east of Healy, the Alaska State Troopers said.

Timothy Sonnenberg, 45, and Jason Roberts, 43, left from Fairbanks on a hunting trip in the area of the Nenana River some time earlier in September, according to troopers. They were reported overdue on Friday morning.

The men had been in Sonnenberg's Piper PA-12 when they went missing, according to troopers and an online search fundraiser. Their last known coordinates were near the west fork of the Delta River, according to the fundraiser.

On Saturday, a pilot told troopers he saw a plane that "appeared to be burned."

"There did not appear to be any survivors," troopers wrote.

The site of the crash is about 35 miles east of Healy, in mountainous terrain, said Clint Johnson of the National Transportation Safety Board.

On Sunday, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center sent a military helicopter to the site of the crash.

Sonnenberg and Roberts were found dead inside the wreckage, troopers said.

As of early Sunday afternoon, an effort to recover the bodies was still underway.

The weather — with low clouds, rain and fog — hasn't been good enough for NTSB investigators to land, Johnson said. They will need a helicopter to access the site.

"We're waiting on a weather window," he said.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.