Two missing in Arctic Ocean plane crash

Posted: Monday, August 18, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) Two people were missing Sunday after a small plane crashed into Peard Bay on the Arctic Ocean about 10 miles southwest of Barrow.

Gordon Bliss, an operations officer with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the crash was reported just before 2 p.m.

The F406, a French version of a Cessna, was en route from Barrow to Wainwright. The plane was an air taxi chartered to carry mail and freight, Bliss said.

The National Weather Service reported patches of fog and isolated spots of drizzle and light rain between Barrow and Wainwright, with temperatures in the mid-30s and northeast wins to 15 mph.

The North Slope Borough Search and Rescue looked for the plane's pilot and passenger but had suspended the search by early evening.

''At this time, (we're saying) they're missing,'' Bliss said. ''Nobody wants to jump to that assumption there's fatals. If someone has survival suits onboard well, they don't want to jump to that conclusion.''

The names of the pilot and passenger were not released Sunday.

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