Downed planes spilled fuel set for removal

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Plans were under way to remove aviation fuel seeping from a state plane that made an emergency landing on a Matanuska River sandbar.

About 150 gallons of fuel spilled from the twin-engine plane Wednesday, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Some fuel seeped from a wing of the damaged Aerocommander 500-S, which is leased by the Division of Forestry.

DEC officials said wind blew the seepage away from the plane and the river and most of it appears to have evaporated.

The pilot, Matt Tomter, guided the plane down from 11,000 feet after an engine caught fire and landed near Chickaloon, about 40 miles west of Palmer.

The plane clipped some treetops and lost its landing gear, but Tomter and his passenger were not hurt.

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