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Missing pilot found dead in Prince William Sound

  • Author: Alaska News
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published April 15, 2015

Alaska State Troopers found the body of a missing pilot and his plane floating in Prince William Sound Wednesday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, ending a search that lasted more than 24 hours.

The crew of a troopers vessel found the man's body and the Cessna 180 he had been flying in the waters off Culross Island in western Prince William Sound, near Whittier.

On Wednesday afternoon, KTUU identified the pilot as Dale Carlson, 53, of Wasilla. Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert of the Coast Guard's Anchorage public affairs office would not confirm the pilot's identity Wednesday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center had received a mayday call from the pilot in the vicinity of Perry Island.

The pilot reported "he had an engine failure and that he was going to try to set the plane down," Eggert said.

The plane lost contact after that, Eggert said.

Aircraft and ships from the Coast Guard, the Alaska Air National Guard and the Alaska State Troopers, as well as private vessels, searched for the plane and its pilot Tuesday and Wednesday.

At 10 p.m. Tuesday, a duffel bag belonging to the pilot was found in the water, Eggert said. The duffel bag contained a flight log that had the pilot's name on the book.

"It is never easy when a search ends like this," said Capt. Paul Mehler, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage commander, in a press release.

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