Aviation

Anchorage pilot killed in plane crash on lake near Skwentna

Whiskey Lake Plane Crash

An Anchorage pilot died Sunday afternoon when her plane crashed in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough near Skwentna.

Janell Rude was missing for about two hours when another plane flying over Whiskey Lake, about 7 miles northwest of Skwentna, spotted a crashed aircraft, said Heidi Kemner, a senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. The Cessna 180A was upside down and fully submerged in the lake, she said.

Rescuers were called to the area at 3:51 p.m. and found 67-year-old Rude dead, Alaska State Troopers said. She was the only person on the plane.

Rude had been taking off from the lake when her plane crashed, Kemner said, and she was headed to Anchorage. Many details remained unclear early in the investigation, including whether the plane was airborne when the crash occurred and what caused it to go down, she said.

Skwentna plane crash on Whiskey Lake

Rude’s body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, troopers said.

Officials were still working to recover the plane Monday for examination by investigators, Kemner said.

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