Another Alaska Midair Collision Kills One

The third midair collision this summer in Alaska has claimed another life. Scott Veal, 24, died when his Cessna 208 Caravan collided with a Cessna 207 flown by Kristen Sprague, 26, six miles north of Nightmute, according to Alaska State Troopers. At the time of the collision, the two pilots were the sole occupants of the airplanes, which reportedly belonged to airline, air taxi and cargo operator Grant Aviation and bush cargo carrier Ryan Air.

According to NTSB investigator Clint Johnson the airplanes were on their way to Bethel and had departed from two separate airports on Nelson Island, 115 miles northwest of Bethel. An article in the Anchorage Daily News said the two pilots were flying together and communicating on a prearranged frequency, and Sprague told Veal she had lost sight of him shortly before the collision occurred. At the time of the accident, the National Weather Service reported overcast ceilings at 1,000 feet AGL.

Johnson said that, after watching the Caravan crash, Sprague was able to make an emergency landing on the tundra about one mile from the crash site despite severe damage to one wing of her 207. She was not injured.

The 207 was equipped with advanced avionics acquired through the Capstone project. Johnson said the NTSB is investigating the data and it’s too early in the investigation to report the cause of the crash.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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