Fuselage from missing plane found on Alaska Peninsula

Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2000

KING SALMON (AP) -- The fuselage of a missing plane with four people on board was found Thursday, according to the Coast Guard in Juneau.

The fuselage of the Cessna 180 was located shortly after 10 a.m. on a peak between Amber Bay and Painter Creek Lodge, about 90 miles southwest of King Salmon.

A rescue swimmer was being lowered to the fuselage to check for survivors, said Coast Guard spokesman Ray Massey.

The plane, which was returning to the lodge with three passengers and a pilot, was reported overdue at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.

Massey said the plane was flying in tandem with another small plane when it radioed to the trailing plane and told it to turn back because the weather was deteriorating. The lead plane, however, was committed to its course and continued as the cloud cover increased, he said.

''They had really poor visibility,'' Massey said. ''It closed in on them.''

Coast Guard searchers said they picked up an emergency locator signal in the area Wednesday night.

The other plane made it safely back to the lodge.

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