Kasilof pilot Richard ‘Rick’ Kraxberger walked away last night after his Bellanca Scout flipped on Montague Island. Kraxberger and his passenger, Thomas Hensel, had filed a flight plan indicating they would leave Soldotna at noon on Sunday and return at 7pm. The FAA issued an alert for the overdue aircraft at 9:30pm.
Kalei Rupp with the Alaska National Guard said they responded, locating the plane at about 11:56pm.
Rupp: “We sent out Alaska Air National Guardsmen from the 211th Rescue Squadron and they fly an HC-130 ‘King’ aircraft. That aircraft actually located the overdue aircraft and visually spotted them on the ground. Then our Air National Guardsmen from the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadron, who were aboard a Pave Hawk helicopter were actually able to land nearby and our Guardian Angel rescue team was able to assess the two.”
Rupp said the men were taken to CPH at 2:20am this morning for further evaluation, but sustained no injuries. Kraxberger and Hensel were reportedly planning on beachcombing when the aircraft flipped on its back after landing.
Rupp said they were fortunate to be unharmed and that the good flight plan they filed meant the recovery was relatively quick and simple.