On Friday evening, a small private plane crashed into a stand of trees near the village airstrip in Talkeetna. The Talkeetna Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene to discover that the pilot was missing.
Fire Department Chief Ken Farina says that when they arrived at the scene, the wing of the plane was bent back significantly, and fuel was leaking. The Fire Department focused their efforts on preventing the highly flammable aviation gas from spreading, as the pilot was nowhere to be found. The Alaska State Troopers later identified the pilot as Max Schwab, 64, of Talkeetna.
Troopers say that Schwab did not report any injuries as the result of the crash, which occurred while he was taxiing down the village strip. Megan Peters, spokesperson for the State Troopers, was unable to release any additional details, but said that the investigation was still in progress.
Clint Johnson, Chief of the Alaska office of the NTSB, says that it is unusual for the pilot to be absent from the scene of a crash. He says the NTSB is focusing on contacting the pilot in regard to the incident. Johnson did not offer any details when contacted by KTNA, but said that the NTSB is working with the Alaska State Troopers.