Plane with 3 on board crashes west of Cooper Landing; no survivors expected, troopers say

A plane flying from Anchorage to Seward with three people on board crashed Friday evening west of Cooper Landing, according to officials.

The twin-engine Piper PA-31 burned after crashing “under unknown circumstances” 15 miles west of Quartz Creek Airport, according to preliminary information from Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman. Two Medevac Alaska crew members were on board as well as the pilot, who worked for Security Aviation, the companies said.

Challenging weather and terrain have hampered responders’ attempts to reach the crash site near Jean Lake, troopers said in a report posted online. Troopers said no survivors were expected.

The Security Aviation plane left Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Friday evening — around 6:30 p.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board — and was heading to the Seward Airport, Security Aviation said in a statement. The crew on board was supposed to pick up a patient from Providence Seward Medical Center and return to Anchorage, the statement said.

No patients were being transported at the time of the crash, according to Medevac Alaska operations manager Cory Hughes. The plane was reported overdue around 7:15 p.m.

An aircraft dispatched by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was able to fly over and locate the crash Friday night, “but weather and terrain prevented placing boots on the ground,” troopers spokesman Ken Marsh said. A Department of Public Safety helicopter with an NTSB investigator on board flew over the site Saturday afternoon but wasn’t able to land in the area, according to troopers.

The Alaska Mountain Rescue Group is planning to try to reach the crash site by ground Sunday, troopers said.


Security Aviation said in a statement Saturday evening that it had “voluntarily implemented a safety stand down, suspending all operations until further notice.”

“We are working closely with the NTSB, the FAA, and other appropriate agencies as they conduct their investigation,” Security Aviation said in the statement.

Jeff Parrott

Jeff Parrott is a former general assignment reporter for Anchorage Daily News. He graduated with a master's degree in 2019 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a former U.S. Army officer.