Pilot, Passengers Identified in Fatal Alaska Crash

The pilot of a small airplane that crashed near Cantwell, Alaska with two others on board has been identified as a Washington man who operated an airplane tour group.

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- The pilot of a small airplane that crashed near Cantwell, Alaska with two others on board has been identified as a Washington man who operated an airplane tour group.

Alaska State Troopers say 61-year-old Dale Hemman of Steilacoom, WA, died in the crash, along with 74-year-old John Ellenberg, of Greenville, S.C. and 52-year-old Laurie Buckner of Simpsonville, S.C.

Troopers report that Hemman owned Fairbanks-based Let's Fly Alaska, a "guided, self-fly" tour company.

Troopers say Hemman on Friday was going to lead 19 airplanes from Fairbanks to Homer but started out early to check weather through an Alaska Range pass.

When the airplane didn't return, other pilots reported it missing.

The twin-engine Beechcraft Baron was spotted burning at noon Friday off the Parks Highway.

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