WILLOW, Alaska (KTUU) – A small plane crash at a private air strip in Willow sent two people on board to the hospital on Saturday.
The crash, according to Matanuska-Susitna Borough Department of Emergency Services Director Ken Barkley, happened just after 6 p.m. Saturday at a private air strip at the end of Winter Park Road.
Troopers responded with emergency service personnel to the scene of the small, single-engine aircraft near mile 68 of the Parks Highway, according to an online dispatch report. It sustained significant damage in the crash, troopers wrote.
No fire was caused as a result of the crash and Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services were able to transport both crash victims to separate hospitals for care.
A relative near the scene told Alaska’s News Source his parents were the only people on the plane, flown by his father. The pilot took the brunt of the injuries, the relative said, and was taken to Providence Alaska Medical Center. His mother went to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
Troopers confirmed that the passenger is currently receiving care in the Mat-Su. The pilot is in critical condition in Anchorage.
National Transportation Safety Board Chief for the Alaska Region Clint Johnson said on Sunday that an NTSB investigation has begun. Johnson said the plane that crashed was an experimental homebuilt replica of a Piper Super Cub PA-18 150. Johnson reported that Federal Aviation Administration personnel were on scene in Willow to document the wreckage site and relocate the aircraft as part of the investigation.
“This is what they refer to as a cub replica, so it is a kit-built airplane,” Johnson said. “We don’t know a lot beyond that at this point.”
Johnson said that Senior Aviation Accident Investigator Brice Banning would be the investigator in charge for the follow up investigation as to what caused the experimental aircraft to crash with two people inside.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.