Pilot dead after small plane crashes into Matanuska River near Chickaloon

One person died when his plane crashed into the Matanuska River on Thursday afternoon, a National Transportation Safety Board official and Alaska State Troopers said.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers got a report just before 1 p.m. Thursday that a small aircraft had crashed in the river near Mile 77 of the Glenn Highway, close to Chickaloon, Alaska State Troopers said in an online report. Troopers responded to the scene, and Clint Johnson, Alaska chief for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the NTSB sent an investigator to the crash location as well.

The pilot and sole occupant of the Piper PA-18 Super Cub was confirmed dead at the scene, Johnson and troopers spokesperson Tim DeSpain said.

According to troopers, there was a second aircraft flying in the area at the time that witnessed the Super Cub “hit a cable and crash.”

A dive team from Mat-Su was able to remove the plane from the water along with Matanuska Towing & Recovery, troopers said. The pilot’s body was also removed from the water and turned over to a local funeral home. According to their statement, troopers on Thursday evening were still in the process of notifying family about the death of the pilot, whom they did not identify.

The Federal Aviation Administration was also contacted about the crash, troopers said.