Thursday, December 8, 2016

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, True North Aviation, N8648N: Fatal accident occurred December 07, 2016 in Port Alsworth, Alaska

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N8648N

FAA Flight Standards District Office:   FAA Anchorage FSDO-03


NTSB Identification: ANC17FA010 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 07, 2016 in Port Alsworth, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N8648N
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 7, 2016, about 0935 Alaska standard time (AST), a wheel-equipped Piper PA-32-180 airplane, N8648N, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with the open waters of Lake Clark shortly after takeoff from the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, Alaska. Of the four occupants on board, the non-instrument rated private pilot and three passengers are presumed to have sustained fatal injuries, and all remain missing. At the time of the accident instrument meteorological conditions were reported in the area. The airplane was registered to a private individual in Port Alsworth, and it had recently been rented to the accident pilot for the 14 CFR Part 91 visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the airplane's point of departure, but reduced visibility conditions were reported along the flight's anticipated flight route, including low-lying ice fog over Lake Clark. The accident flight originated at the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, about 0930, en route to the Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, the flight's final destination for the day. No flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the owner, the missing airplane was equipped with a 406 MHz emergency transmitter locator (ELT), but no signal was received by search personnel.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chief on December 8, a family friend of both the pilot and passengers reported that four family members were originally scheduled to fly to Anchorage on a scheduled air carrier on the day of the accident. The friend explained that on the morning of the accident, three of the four passengers canceled their reservations on the scheduled air carrier, and they elected to fly to Anchorage with the accident pilot instead, while the other family member departed for Anchorage aboard the scheduled air carrier's flight. 

When the airplane failed to arrive in Anchorage, concerned family members and friends of the passengers called the NTSB's Alaska Regional Office to report the airplane overdue. Consequently, an alert notice was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on December 7, at 1501, and an extensive search was launched. Search operations were conducted by personnel from the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many Good Samaritan pilots. 

On December 8, about 1530, searchers located personal items floating in Lake Clark that were later positively identified as belonging to the missing occupants. Also recovered were three airplane landing gear wheel assemblies, a co-pilot (right side) seat, as well as cargo from the missing airplane. The rest of the airplane has not yet been located, and it is presumed to have sunk in the deep waters of Lake Clark. 

The official search was suspended by the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and the Alaska State Troopers on December 12, 2016. Family friends and volunteers continued to search for the missing airplane. 

The closest weather reporting facility was at the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, Alaska, about 10 miles south of the debris location. At 1453, a weather observation from the Port Alsworth Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 150 degrees (true) at 04 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles; cloud and sky conditions, 500 feet overcast; temperature, 3 degrees F; dew point, 0 degrees F; altimeter, 30.18inHg. Remarks: "EST PASS CLOSED." 

A pilot operating in the area at the time the airplane disappeared reported speaking with the accident pilot during the descent phase of his flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth. He stated that he spoke with the accident pilot a couple minutes after the pilot departed the Port Alsworth Airport and he told him the tops of the clouds were about 2,000 feet and from his perspective, it looked open at Miller Valley. The accident pilot replied "looking good under here, I'm gonna keep going." No further radio transmissions were received from the accident pilot.

The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine.

A detailed wreckage and engine examination is pending recovery of the airplane.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


Kyle Longerbeam



Federal Aviation Administration weather camera on the western end of Lake Clark Pass shows heavy fog Thursday afternoon.



Federal Aviation Administration aviation camera on the eastern end of Lake Clark Pass shows clear weather Thursday afternoon.



Scott Blom (back, second from left), 45, and his children Zach (front in the orange jacket), 13 and daughter Kaitlyn (front, right).



Lyle Longerbeam



Grace Bible Church: https://www.facebook.com


Scott Blom and two of his teenage children had been headed to a high school volleyball tournament in Anchorage when they and their young pilot were killed in a plane crash Wednesday in Lake Clark, near the place where they started — Port Alsworth.

Blom's family and friends, in their first detailed statements about what they knew about the circumstances of the plane crash, also said Friday that Blom's wife, Julie Blom, flew separately on a commercial flight to Anchorage because there wasn't room for her on the four-seater, single-engine plane.

Another one of the Blom children was on a high school volleyball team and traveled to Anchorage separately with his teammates, while a fourth was already living in the city as a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee had left Port Alsworth around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, but never arrived in Anchorage. It had carried the pilot, Kyle Longerbeam, 25; Blom, 45, a Christian missionary; daughter Kaitlyn Blom, 14; and Zach Blom, 13. All lived in Port Alsworth, a small community on the shores of Lake Clark, inside the vast Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and about 165 miles southwest of Anchorage.

In the two days that followed Wednesday's report of the missing plane and people, searchers found the plane's co-pilot seat and three of its wheels floating on Lake Clark. They also found some of the plane occupants' personal items scattered in the water north and east of Port Alsworth, said statements from the National Park Service.

"So without a doubt, the airplane is unfortunately underwater," said Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board Alaska chief. Johnson said on Friday the agency was assuming the three passengers and pilot had died in the crash "unless we hear otherwise."

A search from the air was expected to continue Saturday. What led the plane to crash remains under investigation, Johnson said.

The Blom family of six lived in Port Alsworth for about seven years, according to family friend Jackie Wilder.

Scott Blom and his wife, Julie, had spearheaded a nationwide leadership training program for college students and military cadets through Lifelines, a branch of the evangelical organization Cru, once known as Campus Crusade for Christ, said a statement from the family provided Friday by Tanalian School Principal Nate Davis.

"The Bloms are based out of their home and lodge on Lake Clark and have a passion for serving Alaskans and helping them develop their own relationship with Jesus Christ," the statement said.

Wilder said the Bloms all helped out at Port Alsworth's small, public K-12 school, the Tanalian School, and were outgoing members of the tight-knit community of about 200 people. According to the family's statement, Scott Blom coached the high school boys basketball team.

Wilder said in the Bloms' spare time, they indulged in their love of the outdoors.

"They were out and about all the time; they were very kind, hardworking, thoughtful, smart," she said. "They loved hiking, boating, flying, hunting, trapping, fishing — they just loved everything that Alaska has to offer."

On Wednesday, the entire Blom family was supposed to be in Anchorage. The couple's oldest son, Josh, a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage, was already there, and the second oldest, Sam, had traveled with the volleyball team, Davis said.

The family's statement Friday said Kaitlyn and Zach were both honor roll students.

The statement described Longerbeam as an Alaska guide and "great friend to many." Joel Natwick, owner of Tanalian Aviation, described Longerbeam as a "good man."

"He was a talented guide and outdoorsman and he was a good pilot," he said.

Longerbeam had a private pilot certificate, according to state records. Photographs on Longerbeam's Facebook page show him out in Alaska's outdoors — fishing, hunting, wearing snowshoes and posing with pelts as well as a plane.

He was a former resident of Fairfield, Iowa, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and "left everyone and everything behind … to live out his childhood dreams in Alaska," according to a statement issued Saturday by his brother, James "J.J." Longerbeam.

Longerbeam's life ended with him "doing what (he) loved to do," the statement said.

The plane takes off

Johnson said he could not provide information Friday on how many planes had also taken off from the Port Alsworth late Wednesday morning.

The community is not reachable by ground. Two flight services regularly operate out of Port Alsworth — Lake and Peninsula Airlines and Lake Clark Air, said Natwick, whose Tanalian Aviation is a helicopter tour company with a summer base in Port Alsworth.

Lake Clark Air declined to comment Friday, and Lake and Peninsula Airlines did not respond to calls.

Natwick said Longerbeam worked as a private pilot. According to the plane's tail number, the plane he flew Wednesday belonged to Glen Alsworth. The Alsworth family owns Lake Clark Air. It's unknown if Longerbeam rented or borrowed the plane.

What is known is that Longerbeam and the three Bloms took off from Port Alsworth in "less than stellar" weather, Johnson said. "But we need to get some more specifics there."

Johnson said pilots reported "a fair amount of fog and restricted visibility over the lake."

The plane's route during the 90-minute flight would have taken it above the lake and then through Lake Clark Pass to the northeast, Johnson said. Natwick said the plane would have likely followed the shoreline on the northeast side of the lake.

The National Weather Service's closest weather observation station to Port Alsworth is in Iliamna, to the southwest. Bill Ludwig, a NWS meteorologist, said Friday the weather in Iliamna can be fairly indicative of what's going on over Lake Clark.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said, Iliamna had a low ceiling, between 800 and 1,500 feet, with a brisk wind between 15 and 25 mph, and with temperatures around 3 degrees.

"The fact that they had pretty bad conditions there indicates that the weather was probably the same in the case of the Lake Clark area," Ludwig said.

Extensive searches have continued this week to find the four missing people and the plane. Natwick said he flew a helicopter over the area Wednesday and Thursday, assisting in the search, and reported poor visibility and fog over the lake.

Johnson, with the NTSB, said Friday that the agency was investigating the crash, including its cause.

Asked whether aircraft have been recovered before from deep in Lake Clark, Johnson recalled a crash in 2005 in which three girls died.



Aviation
Father, 2 kids were heading to Anchorage volleyball tournament when plane crashed

    Author: Tegan Hanlon Updated: 2 hours ago Published 16 hours ago 

The Blom family at Tanalian Falls near Port Alsworth. (Courtesy Nate Davis)

Scott Blom and two of his teenage children had been headed to a high school volleyball tournament in Anchorage when they and their young pilot were killed in a plane crash Wednesday in Lake Clark, near the place where they started — Port Alsworth.

Blom's family and friends, in their first detailed statements about what they knew about the circumstances of the plane crash, also said Friday that Blom's wife, Julie Blom, flew separately on a commercial flight to Anchorage because there wasn't room for her on the four-seater, single-engine plane.

Another one of the Blom children was on a high school volleyball team and traveled to Anchorage separately with his teammates, while a fourth was already living in the city as a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee had left Port Alsworth around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, but never arrived in Anchorage. It had carried the pilot, Kyle Longerbeam, 25; Blom, 45, a Christian missionary; daughter Kaitlyn Blom, 14; and Zach Blom, 13. All lived in Port Alsworth, a small community on the shores of Lake Clark, inside the vast Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and about 165 miles southwest of Anchorage.

In the two days that followed Wednesday's report of the missing plane and people, searchers found the plane's co-pilot seat and three of its wheels floating on Lake Clark. They also found some of the plane occupants' personal items scattered in the water north and east of Port Alsworth, said statements from the National Park Service.

"So without a doubt, the airplane is unfortunately underwater," said Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board Alaska chief. Johnson said on Friday the agency was assuming the three passengers and pilot had died in the crash "unless we hear otherwise."

A search from the air was expected to continue Saturday. What led the plane to crash remains under investigation, Johnson said.

Those onboard

The Blom family of six lived in Port Alsworth for about seven years, according to family friend Jackie Wilder.

Scott Blom and his wife, Julie, had spearheaded a nationwide leadership training program for college students and military cadets through Lifelines, a branch of the evangelical organization Cru, once known as Campus Crusade for Christ, said a statement from the family provided Friday by Tanalian School Principal Nate Davis.

"The Bloms are based out of their home and lodge on Lake Clark and have a passion for serving Alaskans and helping them develop their own relationship with Jesus Christ," the statement said.

Wilder said the Bloms all helped out at Port Alsworth's small, public K-12 school, the Tanalian School, and were outgoing members of the tight-knit community of about 200 people. According to the family's statement, Scott Blom coached the high school boys basketball team.

Wilder said in the Bloms' spare time, they indulged in their love of the outdoors.

"They were out and about all the time; they were very kind, hardworking, thoughtful, smart," she said. "They loved hiking, boating, flying, hunting, trapping, fishing — they just loved everything that Alaska has to offer."

On Wednesday, the entire Blom family was supposed to be in Anchorage. The couple's oldest son, Josh, a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage, was already there, and the second oldest, Sam, had traveled with the volleyball team, Davis said.

The family's statement Friday said Kaitlyn and Zach were both honor roll students.
Kyle Longerbeam (Photo courtesy Longerbeam family)
Kyle Longerbeam (Photo courtesy Longerbeam family)

The statement described Longerbeam as an Alaska guide and "great friend to many." Joel Natwick, owner of Tanalian Aviation, described Longerbeam as a "good man."

"He was a talented guide and outdoorsman and he was a good pilot," he said.

Longerbeam had a private pilot certificate, according to state records. Photographs on Longerbeam's Facebook page show him out in Alaska's outdoors — fishing, hunting, wearing snowshoes and posing with pelts as well as a plane.

He was a former resident of Fairfield, Iowa, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and "left everyone and everything behind … to live out his childhood dreams in Alaska," according to a statement issued Saturday by his brother, James "J.J." Longerbeam.

Longerbeam's life ended with him "doing what (he) loved to do," the statement said.

The plane takes off

Johnson said he could not provide information Friday on how many planes had also taken off from the Port Alsworth late Wednesday morning.

The community is not reachable by ground. Two flight services regularly operate out of Port Alsworth — Lake and Peninsula Airlines and Lake Clark Air, said Natwick, whose Tanalian Aviation is a helicopter tour company with a summer base in Port Alsworth.

Lake Clark Air declined to comment Friday, and Lake and Peninsula Airlines did not respond to calls.

Natwick said Longerbeam worked as a private pilot. According to the plane's tail number, the plane he flew Wednesday belonged to Glen Alsworth. The Alsworth family owns Lake Clark Air. It's unknown if Longerbeam rented or borrowed the plane.

What is known is that Longerbeam and the three Bloms took off from Port Alsworth in "less than stellar" weather, Johnson said. "But we need to get some more specifics there."

Johnson said pilots reported "a fair amount of fog and restricted visibility over the lake."

The plane's route during the 90-minute flight would have taken it above the lake and then through Lake Clark Pass to the northeast, Johnson said. Natwick said the plane would have likely followed the shoreline on the northeast side of the lake.

The National Weather Service's closest weather observation station to Port Alsworth is in Iliamna, to the southwest. Bill Ludwig, a NWS meteorologist, said Friday the weather in Iliamna can be fairly indicative of what's going on over Lake Clark.

Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said, Iliamna had a low ceiling, between 800 and 1,500 feet, with a brisk wind between 15 and 25 mph, and with temperatures around 3 degrees.

"The fact that they had pretty bad conditions there indicates that the weather was probably the same in the case of the Lake Clark area," Ludwig said.

Extensive searches have continued this week to find the four missing people and the plane. Natwick said he flew a helicopter over the area Wednesday and Thursday, assisting in the search, and reported poor visibility and fog over the lake.

Johnson, with the NTSB, said Friday that the agency was investigating the crash, including its cause.

Asked whether aircraft have been recovered before from deep in Lake Clark, Johnson recalled a crash in 2005 in which three girls died.
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According to the NTSB's final report on that crash, the girls' father lost depth perception in whiteout conditions and flew into the frozen lake. He and his wife were able to escape, but weren't able to free his daughters before the plane sank in roughly 800 feet of water.

Neither the victims nor the aircraft in the accident were ever recovered from the lake, Johnson said.

"They are still in the plane," Johnson said. "It was out in the middle — it was very deep."


Source:   https://www.adn.com

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) UPDATE: 4:20 P.M. --    Crews recovered the co-pilots seat and three wheels of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft Friday, according to the National Park Service. The search for the four passengers on board will hopefully continue Saturday if weather cooperates.

The missing Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft that carried four Port Alsworth residents is presumed to have crashed Wednesday into the waters of Lake Clark.

The four passengers on board the plane have been identified as Port Alsworth residents Scott Blom, 45, his children, Kaitlyn Blom, 14, and Zach Blom, 13, and pilot Kyle Longerbeam, 25.

Megan Richotte, public affairs liaison for the Park Service, said weather has been the biggest challenge so far for search crews.

"Early December, this year is no exception, we usually have ice fog forming on the lake particularly in the night and in the morning," said Richotte. "As fog forms on the lake, visibility is really difficult so not only are we dealing with short daylight hours as well as cold temperatures we are also dealing with low viability for aircraft."

The Blom family released a statement late Friday afternoon regarding their loved ones on board the missing plane:

"On Wednesday, December 7th, an airplane with 4 people on board, all residents of Port Alsworth, Alaska, left Port Alsworth bound for Anchorage to cheer on their Tanalian Lynx volleyball team at the Alaska State Championships. When the plane did not arrive on time, search parties were deployed and eventually found debris and passengers’ belongings on the waters of Lake Clark. The search for more evidence continues.

The pilot was Alaskan guide and great friend to many, Kyle Longerbeam. The passengers were Scott Blom and his children, Kaitlyn Blom (14) and Zach Blom (13). The children were both well-loved honor roll students at Tanalian School of the Lake & Peninsula School District. Scott and his wife, Julie, spearheaded a nationwide leadership training program for college students and military cadets through Lifelines, a branch of Cru. The Bloms are based out of their home and lodge on Lake Clark and have a passion for serving Alaskans and helping them develop their own relationship with Jesus Christ. Scott Blom was also the boys basketball coach at Tanalian High School. Their oldest son, Josh, is a freshman at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Their second oldest son, Sam, is a senior and Student Body Vice President at Tanalian School.

The family is so grateful to all for the outpouring of love."

Update

The missing Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft that carried four Port Alsworth residents is presumed to have crashed into the waters of Lake Clark, according to the National Park Service. Search crews will be at Lake Clark today, if weather permits. Water in the area is around 375 feet deep.

According to a National Park Service press release, aboard the plane were four Port Alsworth residents: pilot Kyle Longerbeam, 25, Scott Blom, 45, and his children, Kaitlyn Blom, 14, and Zach Blom, 13.

The National Park Service and the National Transportation Safety Board focus on Lake Clark's waters, near the area where the passenger items and debris were found, says John Quinley, Associate Regional Director of Communications & Operations for the park service.

Depending on weather conditions, search crews will head out with boats and aircrafts, today, says Quinley. And on Saturday, an Alaska State Trooper helicopter will join the search effort.

Original Story

Debris believed to be from an aircraft that went missing on a flight from Port Alsworth to Anchorage on Wednesday was located in Lake Clark National Park earlier today, according to a press release from the National Park Service.

At about 3 p.m., items belonging to the occupants of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee were located floating on Lake Clark by searchers on a boat based in Port Alsworth. The items were found north and east of Port Alsworth.

According to John Quinley, Associate Regional Director for Communications & Operations for the park service, The families of the pilot and three passengers on board are being notified this evening.

The investigation, search and planning for recovery will continue on Friday

Story and video:   http://www.ktuu.com



Blom family: photo courtesy Nate Davis, family spokesperson (Back row: Sam, Julie, Scott, Josh...Front row: Zach, Kaitlyn)


Lyle Longerbeam


Parts of the missing plane were recovered Friday, according to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve chief of interpretation, Megan Richotte. Richotte said three wheels and a co-pilot seat were found in Upper Lake Clark, near where the family’s luggage was found and about 11 miles from Port Alsworth.

The National Park Service has two skiffs on the lake, as well a Super Cub. Private aircrafts are assisting. Because of ice on the bay, NPS can’t put their boats in the water, Richotte explained. She added that another ariel search is planned for Saturday.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 9

A single-engine Piper PA-28 with four passengers has presumably crashed into Lake Clark, according to a Friday release from National Park Service (NPS) spokesperson John Quinley.

“At this time no debris from the aircraft has been recovered,” wrote Quigley. “Water in the area is around 375 feet deep.”

Quigley confirmed the passengers on board are: 25-year-old pilot Kyle Longerbeam, 45-year-old Scott Blom and his children, 13-year-old Zach Blom and 14-year-old Kaitlyn Blom.

Searchers discovered debris floating on Lake Clark, inside of Lake Clark National Park Thursday afternoon, which they believe belongs to the passengers inside the plane.

No status of the passengers was immediately given.

The discovery was made around 3 p.m. Thursday. The items were discovered north and east of Port Alsworth. The family members of those on board were notified Thursday evening.

Search efforts will continue Friday, said Quigley. The NPS will use both air and watercraft in the search depending on ice conditions on the lake. A helicopter with the Alaska State Troopers is expected to join the search Saturday.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8

A search effort continues Thursday for a plane carrying four people that left Port Alsworth Wednesday morning for Anchorage.

Besides the pilot, the three passengers on the plane have been identified as Scott Blom and two of his children. According to Pastor Johan Knies of the Community Church of the Rockies in Grand Lake, Colorado, Blom, his wife Julie, and their four children live in Port Alsworth, Alaska.

Their mission biography on the church website shows the family bought a cabin in Port Alsworth and established the Alaskan Leadership Adventures Lodge. The family also does missionary work in other Alaska villages. Knies told KTVA this is a difficult time for the church and the family.

The plane left Port Alsworth around 10:30 a.m. and never arrived at its destination of Merrill Field, according to Clint Johnson, spokesperson with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The 176th Wing of the Alaska Air National Guard launched a search mission Wednesday using C-130 and MC-130 aircraft. The 210th Rescue Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base launched a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter to assist.

The crews searched the areas north and south of Lake Clark Pass overnight Wednesday, but found no signs of the plane, according to Sgt. Edward Eagerton with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

The plane, a Piper Pa-28-180 with four on board, was headed through Lake Clark pass on its way to Anchorage and was scheduled to arrive around 12 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews were unable to search inside the pass due to heavy fog, said Eagerton. He also said crews have not picked up any type of locator beacon from the plane.

The C-130 and HH-60 headed to the area again Thursday morning before sunrise to continue the search. Additionally, five aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol have joined in the search.

The MC-130, which helped in Wednesday’s search efforts, is from the California Air National Guard, currently conducting a training operation in Alaska. A para-rescue squad from the Alaska Air National Guard is on board the MC-130, according to Eagerton.

Source:   http://www.ktva.com




Searchers were hoping for good weather Friday that would allow them to venture out onto Lake Clark to search for a plane with four aboard that apparently went down into the lake in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve shortly after takeoff from Port Alsworth, Alaska.

"Items belonging to the passengers in the plane were located on Thursday afternoon on the lake, about 11 miles northeast of Port Alsworth. The single-engine Piper PA-28 is presumed to have crashed in the water, although at this time no debris from the aircraft has been recovered. Water in the area is around 375 feet deep," said John Quinley, associate regional director for communications and operations for the Park Service's Alaska operations.

"The plane was carrying four residents of Port Alsworth: pilot Kyle Longerbeam, 25; Scott Blom, 45, and his children, Zach Blom, 13, and Kaitlyn Blom, 14," said Mr. Quinley.

The weather forecast Friday for the area called for fog, light snow, and temperatures around 11 degrees, he said.

"National Park Service will use boats and aircraft depending on weather and ice conditions," said Mr. Quinley. "An Alaska State Trooper helicopter is expected to join the effort on Saturday. The National Transportation Safety Board is working closely with the Park Service."

The pilot was heading to Anchorage, about 175 miles northeast of the 4-million-acre Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Source:   http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com




ANCHORAGE — A small airplane ferrying a father and his two teenage children to Anchorage presumably plunged into an expansive Alaska lake shortly after taking off from a nearby rural community, officials said Friday.

No bodies have been found, but items belonging to the pilot and three passengers on board were discovered floating Thursday in Lake Clark, said John Quinley, a spokesman for the National Park Service in Alaska.

The names of the four were released Friday, a day after families were notified that debris belonging to them had been located.

All four on board the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee plane were from Port Alsworth, a small community about 170 miles southwest of Anchorage. They included the pilot, Kyle Longerbeam, 25; Scott Blom, 45, and his children, Kaitlyn Blom, 14, and Zach Blom, 13.

Quinley said the family had lived there for about three years.

The debris was found about 3 p.m. Thursday, about 11 miles northeast of Port Alsworth.

Searchers in boats and airplanes forced to stop work because it got dark returned at daybreak Friday to resume looking for the missing airplane in the 375-foot deep lake. An Alaska State Trooper helicopter was set to help searchers Saturday if needed.

Ice that would hinder searchers has not totally covered the 42-mile long lake, allowing access by boat.

The plane left Port Alsworth about 10 a.m. Wednesday and was due to land two hours later in Anchorage.

Responders said the initial search area was hampered by fog and darkness at Lake Clark Pass, a narrow mountain river valley that was believed to be part of the aircraft's flight path.

Searchers found no indication of any emergency locator beacon being activated in the area, Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton said.

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