One killed, one injured in Alaska Peninsula crash

Posted: Sunday, December 22, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal employee was killed and another seriously injured in a plane crash in southwest Alaska.

Searchers late Friday afternoon located the site of a crash that killed Tom O'Hara, 41, of King Salmon-Naknek, a pilot for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Passenger Corey Adler, 30, of Fairbanks, who was taking part in a Fish and Wildlife training program, suffered a broken leg and was hypothermic. He was transported to the Naknek clinic for treatment.

The crash site was eight miles east of Upper Ugashik Lake about 330 miles southwest of Anchorage. Both men were pinned in the wreckage of the aircraft, a Husky.

The men were in the third day of a moose tracking survey when they crashed.

The Husky left King Salmon at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with a flight plan to Ugashik Lake, then Dog Salmon River and back to King Salmon.

O'Hara made radio contact at the scheduled time of 11:45 a.m. Thursday from the Ugashik Narrows. At 1 p.m., the plane failed to report in and was reported overdue to the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard rescue crews assisted by federal, state and civilian aircraft began searching Thursday and continued Friday. Searchers did not receive notice of an activated emergency locator transmitter in the area but were hopeful of finding survivors because O'Hara had flown in the Bristol Bay area for 12 years and the plane was well-stocked with survival gear.

The temperature in the King Salmon area Friday was 32 degrees with calm winds, light snow and visibility of about two miles.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Raymer said a helicopter from Egli Air of King Salmon spotted the wreckage at 4:20 p.m. Friday.

Adler was employed as part of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Student Career Experience Program. He also is a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, majoring in wildlife biology.

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