PALMER — A Regal Air Services pilot and beloved member of Alaska's aviation community died Monday when his plane crashed into snowy, mountainous terrain near Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range, authorities say.
Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as 67-year-old Carl David Oberg, a well-known pilot from a Palmer family and longtime teacher at Service High School.
Troopers were notified Monday afternoon that a wheel-equipped Cessna 206 operated by the Lake Hood air service company had crashed in the area northwest of Anchorage, according to a dispatch posted Tuesday.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center located the plane and found Oberg's body, troopers said. No one else was in the plane. No additional information was available Tuesday about the specific location of the crash.
Oberg was flying out to pick up hunters when the plane went down, according to Clint Johnson, Alaska chief for the National Transportation Safety Board.
Regal reported losing contact with the Cessna sometime after noon Monday, Johnson said. A GPS track stopped in the general area of Puntilla Lake, he said.
A Regal representative declined comment Tuesday.
Oberg, who went by "Dave," was born and raised in Palmer and taught aviation science in the offseason, according to the company's website. He started flying as a teenager and had flown commercially since he was in his 20s.
Oberg started working for Regal in 2002.
"He was a phenomenal photographer … and an amazing husband, father, grandpa, son and friend," his niece, Holly Christensen, wrote in a message. "We will miss him so much."
Numerous friends posted farewells Tuesday on Oberg's Facebook page, where just days earlier he'd posted the latest batch of stunning photos of the view from his "office windows" to the incredible Alaska scenery below.
Oberg added new photos Sunday, with a caption: "Just finished up another great day retrieving hunters and guides from the Alaska Range! What a fantastic job!"
The NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.
It marked the third fatal crash by a Regal Air pilot in a little over a year.
A chartered floatplane operated by the company crashed on a flight from Willow Lake carrying mortar, propane and other cargo on July 18. Pilot Colt Richter, 24, was killed. His female passenger and her young son survived.
Pilot Joel Black, 22, died in July 2017 when he crashed carrying freight from Lake Hood to the Bristol Bay area. The plane came down in Lake Clark National Park. Black had no passengers.