A plane that slammed into woods near the Salcha River on a Saturday in late May, the second Alaska crash that day to kill two people, reportedly still had engine power when it hit the ground.
The National Transportation Safety Board published an eyewitness account Tuesday of the May 27 crash in a preliminary report. Sam R. Brice, 81, and Howard A. “Buzz” Otis, 61, of Fairbanks and North Pole respectively were killed.
The S-1B2 aircraft, an older model known in aviation circles as an “Arctic Tern,” crashed at about 11 a.m. near Butte Creek about 60 miles east of Fairbanks. According to the NTSB, the men had taken off from an “off-airport landing site near Fairbanks” at about 10 a.m. to look for an overdue boat on the Salcha River.