3 dead after plane crash near Seward

Three people are dead after a plane crash near Johnstone Bay southeast of Seward, Alaska State Troopers said Saturday. There were no survivors, said agency spokesman Ken Marsh.

Troopers learned of the crash Friday at about 6 p.m. Before rescue personnel arrived, “a commercial helicopter from Seward landed at the scene and confirmed no signs of life,” according to troopers.

The pilot of the Helio Courier airplane was Kem Sibbitt, 63, of Fairbanks, troopers said in a statement. Two adult passengers who were on board have not been positively identified, troopers said.

The crash was on land, Marsh said. Bodies of the victims have been recovered, he said, but he did not have information about the identities of the passengers.

Preliminary information indicates the plane departed from Seward, planned to go to Johnstone Bay and then return to Seward, said Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s regional Alaska office.

“Details like that, that’s what we’re going to be flushing out here in the next couple of weeks,” Johnson said.

As of noon Saturday, troopers and the NTSB were at the scene conducting an investigation. The bodies of the victims will be sent to the State Medical Examiner Office, Marsh said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Annie Zak

Annie Zak was a business reporter for the ADN between 2015 and 2019.