Friday, July 15, 2022

Aeronca 7EC Traveler, N4340C: Fatal accident occurred July 11, 2022 in Valdez, Alaska

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.

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Ward, Mark

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska 

Location: Valdez, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC22FA053
Date and Time: July 11, 2022, 17:30 Local
Registration: N4340C
Aircraft: Champion 7EC
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 11, 2022, about 1730 Alaska standard time, a Champion 7EC airplane, N4340C was destroyed when it was involved in an accident about 20 miles Northeast of Valdez, Alaska. The student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot had departed from the Valdez Airport (VDZ), Valdez, and was returning to a private airstrip in Sutton, Alaska. When the airplane did not arrive in Sutton, family and friends of the missing pilot reported the airplane overdue. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert notice on July 11 at 2246. Search personnel from the Civil Air Patrol, Alaska State Troopers, Army National Guard, Alaska Air National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard, along with several volunteers, were dispatched to conduct an extensive search effort. Poor weather conditions along the anticipated flight route hampered search efforts. No electronic locator transmitter (ELT) signal was detected.

On July 14, about 1530, the airplane wreckage was found by the crew of an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60M helicopter in an area known as Thompson Pass, at an elevation of about 2,560 ft.

The airplane impacted an area of tundra and rock-covered terrain in a near vertical attitude.

Two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Alaska Regional Office, responded to the accident site and examined the airplane wreckage on July 15.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion
Registration: N4340C
Model/Series: 7EC 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAVD,60 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1500 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 260°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3100 ft AGL
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Valdez, AK (vdz)
Destination: Sutton, AK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 61.133798,-145.73117

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 12-JUL-22
Time: 02:34:00Z
Regis#: N4340C
Aircraft Make: Aeronca 
Aircraft Model: 7EC
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal
Pax: 0 
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Andy Granville Andersen

Andy Granville Andersen born to Ted and Theresa Andersen on June 11th, 1984, passed away unexpectedly on July 11th 2022 while fulfilling one of his life time dreams of being a pilot. Andy was the youngest of Ted and Theresa’s children. He was the baby brother of Christopher (wife Kelly) and Shannon Andersen. Father of two sons, champion dirt bike riders, Chase Thomas and Cruz William Andersen from his first love and previous wife, Jessica Faris, whom he met while attending college in Iowa.

He loved to hear the words UNCLE ANDY being yelled with excitement as he came in the door from his nephews Odin, Cole, Tristen, Garret, Parker, Benzley, Jaydon and Oliver; great nephew Wylde and of course his one and only niece, Trinity. He also left behind a girlfriend, Kendra Butts whom he loved to have fun and many adventures with and her son, Lyle Newby whom he adored and instantly made one of the family.

Andy was all about family, many times sharing how blessed he was that his grandparents Tom and Joanne Berberich, and Robert and Bodean Andersen built amazing family foundations and roots to build from. He had many Aunts, Uncles and cousins he knew he could count on, get great hugs from and even suddenly take down and have a great wrestling match with at any given moment.

Andy was a very proud state champion for the Palmer wrestling team. He was an Alaskan to the core, he had a passion for hunting, fishing, and of course every kind of motorsports. He was a great electrician and even started and ran his own company Elec-Tek. He took care of his employees and customers like no other.

Andy’s passion and love for his family’s motocross racing quickly spread like wild fire when he, his siblings, parents and all the nieces and nephews started the Secret Ninja Training Facility. It grew so fast the secret soon came out and they built and started Valley Rally Raceway. The Andersen family then started the Sutton Racing Lions to be able to host races and what Andy called the funnest weekend of the year dirt bike camps. There was no challenge too large for Andyman and he knew his family and friends had his back!!

Team Valley Rally and the support of Alaskans gave Andy’s son’s Chase and Cruz the foundation and skills needed and they soon became national racers, driving miles and miles together across the USA and racing all over the country. Andy made sure to include fishing and family fun on every single trip. He cherished every moment he had and was sure to tell his loved ones how special they were to him.

The Andersen family has since been flooded with love and support from everyone that knew Andy. It’s very clear he touched the lives and hearts of everyone he crossed paths with.

Forever young, Andy had a million dollar smile that was always shining bright.

Services will be held for Andy Andersen at Palmer High School on August 13th @ 2pm.

Andy Andersen during an interview with Alaska's News Source in 2019.

VALDEZ, Alaska (KTUU) - An Alaskan pilot missing since Monday night was found dead Thursday afternoon by Alaska Army National Guard searchers, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Andy Andersen, 38, of Sutton was reported missing Monday just before 8:30 p.m., according to an online troopers dispatch, after his red and white Aeronca Champion plane was reported overdue. The plane left Valdez around 5 p.m. and was expected to arrive in Sutton, Anderson’s home, around 6:30 p.m.

Troopers said a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter found the wreckage of Andersen’s plane around 2:15 p.m. Thursday about 1,000 feet from the Richardson Highway at the top of Thompson Pass, located approximately 25 miles outside of the port town of Valdez.

Alaska’s News Source has interviewed Andersen on three occasions for stories about the Valley Rally Raceway, a motocross track he built in his backyard in Sutton. Over the years it became a popular place to introduce kids to the sport through camps. Friday on social media many shared memories and messages on Andersen’s Facebook page.

Andersen’s body was recovered from the wreckage site and will be taken to the State Medical Examiner’s office, troopers said, while the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the scene. Troopers said next of kin have been notified.

Location: Valdez
Type: Overdue Aircraft


On July 14, 2022 at approximately 2:15 p.m., an Alaska Army National Guard HH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and crew located the aircraft wreckage and deceased pilot at the top of Thompson Pass about 1,000 feet off the Richardson Highway. Alaska State Troopers arrived on scene and positively identified the deceased pilot as Andy Andersen, age 38 of Sutton. The body was recovered from the site and will be taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office. Next of Kin has been notified. NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

On 7/11/2022 at 8:21 pm, Alaska State Troopers received a report of an overdue aircraft with one person on board out of Valdez and notified the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC). The red and white Aeronca 7EC Traveler, tail number N4340C is believed to be piloted by Andy Andersen, age 38 of Sutton. Anderson was reported to have left Valdez around 5pm on 7/11/2022 enroute to Sutton with an expected arrival time of 6:30 pm. Agencies involved are AKRCC, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), US Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, and Alaska Army National Guard assets. SAR efforts have been hampered due to poor weather conditions and air assets are searching as weather permits.

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