Planes collide at private Fairbanks airfield, fatalities and injuries reported

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 2:47 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Friday morning Alaska State Troopers issued an update & correction from their statement yesterday.

One of the planes involved in the crash was a Cessna 185 not a 172. AST has also positively identified the other two occupants of the Cessna 185.  Cody J. Rosania, 35, of Buckeye, AZ died in the crash. Rayne R. Rush, 40 of Buckeye, AZ was the third occupant inside the C185, he suffered life-threatening injuries.  Family members have been notified.  The State Medical Examiner’s Office called for an autopsy of both men who died.

Two privately owned bush planes have collided at Chena Marina Air Services. Emergency personnel are on the scene and assessing the situation.

On Thursday afternoon, at approximately 2:00 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report of a mid-air collision above the airstrip which is parallel to Dolphin Way in west Fairbanks.

Chena Goldstream Fire Department was the first department on the scene, with mutual aid being provided by Ester Fire, University Fire, and fire teams from Fairbanks International Airport. Alaska State Troopers, the FAA and NTSB are also on scene investigating the collision. It is not yet known what caused the collision.

According to Chena Goldstream Fire Deputy Chief Keith Berrian, on arrival crews found multiple people still trapped in one of the aircraft and another person who had been ejected from the other aircraft.

Resident Steve Cary, who lives on the marina, said he heard a loud noise and went outside to try and help, where one of the planes was completely engulfed in flames.

“We were just basically finishing lunch, heard this horrible noise - whop whop whop - and I knew that there was a bad accident and we came running out here [to the scene]. By the time I got out here it was already... one [of the] airplanes was totally engulfed in flames.”

Cary went on to say, “I helped one guy with the Supercub, I helped him out of the airplane and I got him on his back and then I went over to the other guy and by the time I got there they were dragging that other guy from that other airplane.”

Alaska State Troopers also issued a statement giving more details about what happened.

The Initial investigation indicates a Piper Supercub flown by Larry D. Dalrymple, 73 of Fairbanks, collided with a Cessna 172 flown by Shane E. Bennett, 52 of Fairbanks. After the collision both aircraft crashed into the ground on the gravel runway. The Cessna 172 (corrected to Cessna 185) burst into flames on impact.

Dalrymple was seriously injured and was transported to FMH. Bennett was killed in the crash. A 40 year old male was extricated from the burning wreckage and was also transported to FMH with life-threatening injuries. One other passenger was inside the C185 and that person was also killed in the crash. AST has not been able to notify next of kin for the second deceased person.

The critically injured person has also been identified but AST has not notified the next of kin yet. The airfield is currently closed for an indefinite amount of time. Alaska Wildlife Troopers and AST are still on scene assisting with scene security.

This story is developing and we will update it with more information as soon as it becomes available.

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