A 75-year-old Sterling pilot who reported engine failure Thursday afternoon managed to crash-land his Cessna 180 in a Soldotna swamp without injuries to himself or three passengers, Alaska State Troopers said.
Anchorage Air Traffic Control reported the plane, en route to Soldotna, wasn't able to land at Soldotna Airport around 2:15 p.m., troopers said in a dispatch posted Friday. The pilot's last known location was about five miles east of the airport.
Phone contact with pilot Terry Moxey confirmed "the plane did in fact crash" in a swampy area about a mile southeast of Funny River Road and no one was hurt, troopers said.
Troopers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found the four standing on the belly of the downed plane, which overturned in 3 or 4 feet of water, they said. Troopers identified the other three in the plane as David Savoie, 84, and Karen Savoie, 79, both of Idaho, and 81-year-old Jacqueline Moxey of Sterling.
Responders got the four out of the water, and a troopers helicopter flew them to Soldotna Airport.
The rescue was finished by 5 p.m. Thursday.