Plane crash kills four people south of Bettles

Posted: Monday, July 16, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Four people died Sunday afternoon after their plane crashed south of Bettles.

The pilot was identified as Nancy H. Lewis, 48, of Fairbanks. Alaska State Troopers were withholding the identities of the three passengers until next of kin could be notified. A trooper spokesman could not say whether the passengers were from Alaska.

The state Rescue Coordination Center called troopers at 3:30 p.m. after receiving a signal from an electronic location transmitter. The signal indicated a downed plane 48-50 miles south of Bettles, a rural community in the foothills of the Brooks Range about 180 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

A Fish and Wildlife Protection trooper flew to the area and located the crash near Lake Sithylemenkat. The lake is about 38 miles east of the Dalton Highway.

The trooper landed about a mile away and hiked to the downed plane, a 1977 Maule, a fixed-wing single-engine aircraft.

Troopers said they will fly a helicopter with additional troopers to the crash site to recover the bodies.

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