A Cessna 208 plane crash left two people dead on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. The plane, which was operating as a Hageland Aviation training flight, went down outside of Bethel, Alaska at around 4:00 p.m. Hageland Aviation is a regional airline in Alaska.
Both of the victims, Derrick Cedars (42) of Bethel and Greggory McGee (46) of Anchorage were pilots. Cedars was the lead pilot for Hageland Aviation in Bethel.
According to the Alaska Dispatch, local residents saw smoke on the horizon in the vicinity of Three-Step Mountain Tuesday night, which prompted another aircraft to canvas the area. Search and rescue officials later found the wreckage in a “large debris field,” surrounded by burned willows. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a team of officials out to Bethel to investigate the aviation accident. At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane to go down.
Air travel in Alaska can be quite dangerous because pilots often have to fly in difficult weather conditions where visibility can be limited. Sources have indicated that weather conditions before Tuesday night’s training flight were “calm and clear.”
The crash represents the second aviation accident in recent months for Hageland Aviation. Last November, a Cessna 208 plane crashed outside of St. Marys, killing four people and injuring six others.