Pilot dies in crash southeast of Deadhorse

A pilot died in a crash southeast of Deadhorse last week, an official from the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Another pilot flying Friday in the remote mountainous area just over 100 miles southeast of Deadhorse saw and reported plane wreckage, said Clint Johnson, chief of the NTSB’s Alaska office.

The North Slope Borough Search and Rescue responded to the area late Friday evening and found one man dead in the Piper PA-12, Johnson said. His remains were brought back to Utqiagvik.

The pilot had not been publicly identified by Monday.

Many questions remained unanswered in the days following the crash, including when it occurred, Johnson said. Investigators believe the plane crashed on Wednesday or Thursday, but Johnson said no emergency locator transmitter was ever activated. It wasn’t immediately clear where the plane had taken off from or where it was headed.

Investigators from the NTSB responded to the area on Saturday morning and collected evidence from the accident site, Johnson said. They plan to talk with the pilot’s family members in the coming days, he said.

Officials are also working with the plane owners and insurance company to remove the wreckage, Johnson said.


The North Slope Borough Search and Rescue referred questions to the mayor’s office. A representative could not immediately be reached.

The investigation into what may have caused the crash is ongoing, Johnson said.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.