Anchorage man and Hawaii woman died in Eagle River Valley plane crash


A 23-year-old Anchorage flight instructor and a 27-year-old Hawaii woman died Monday when their plane crashed in the Eagle River Valley, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

The bodies of pilot Dakota Bauder and McKenna Vierra were recovered from the steep mountainside crash site Tuesday evening, troopers wrote in an online statement.

Bauder was an instructor at Angel Aviation Flight School, said Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board Alaska office chief. The school operates out of Merrill Field Airport and offers aircraft rental as well as flight instruction, according to the company’s website.

He was doing a discovery flight with Vierra, a prospective student, Johnson said.

The Cessna 172P left Merrill Field Airport in Anchorage and flew up Knik River Valley before heading into Chugach State Park, said spokesman Austin McDaniel. The plane crashed in the southeast end of Eagle River Valley likely between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Johnson said.

Officials were notified of the overdue flight around 8 p.m. and by 10:45 p.m. a good Samaritan searcher in a plane had located the wreckage, troopers said.

It was not immediately clear what may have caused the crash.

Officials from the NTSB are working to recover the wreckage and investigate the crash, Johnson said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.