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Aviation

Wreckage found on Admiralty Island confirmed as floatplane that vanished in 2008, family says

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: October 30, 2017
  • Published October 30, 2017

A plane, a Cessna 182E, missing since 2008, was found on Admiralty Island Oct. 25, 2017. (Photo provided by Alaska State Troopers)

Wreckage and remains discovered Wednesday on an island south of Juneau is from the plane that went missing in 2008 with two men aboard, the family has confirmed.

"It is with mixed emotions, that I am able to announce that the search for Brian and Brandon Andrews, missing since Aug. 9, 2008, has ended," B.J. Andrews wrote Saturday on a blog that has provided details about the family's continuing search over the years.

The Cessna 182 floatplane vanished nearly a decade ago as the men returned to Juneau from a family camping trip at Admiralty Island's Young Lake.

Brandon Andrews, left, with his father Brian Andrews. Their floatplane went missing August 9, 2008. (Photo by Brandon Andrews)

Brian Andrews, 56 and Alaska deputy commissioner for revenue, and his 24-year-old son, Brandon, died. Both were described as good pilots, according to news accounts at the time.

A hunting party and "lifelong friends" discovered the crash and delivered the news on Wednesday, B.J. Andrews, the oldest sibling in the family, wrote in the blog post.

The wreckage was found "under forested canopy, on difficult terrain, and you need to be very close to see it. There were only two broken tree tops, and those trees were actually broken pretty low. We are fortunate to have found the plane at all," Andrews wrote.

"It was a gift to hear the news first from a Juneau family that I absolutely have the highest esteem and love for — and this has comforted my mom, sister, and closest friends as well," Andrews wrote.

The National Transportation Safety Board, Alaska State Troopers and other groups confirmed the discovery using identification numbers on the plane, said Andrews.

"Brian and Brandon were judged dead on impact," Andrews wrote.

"It appears that my dad's wedding band was also recovered," he wrote.

The family will hold a private ceremony in the near future, he said.

"If there is one surprise about the crash site's location, it's that it took us nine years, two months, and a number of days to find you guys. … While foot searches, flights, and countless resources were expended looking in the discovery area, I am glad that you were found in the flight path and were on your way home…" Andrews wrote.

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