Missing pilot found dead near Valdez

Andy Andersen during an interview with Alaska's News Source in 2019.
Andy Andersen during an interview with Alaska's News Source in 2019.(KTUU)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:12 AM AKDT
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VALDEZ, Alaska (KTUU) - An Alaskan pilot missing since Monday night was found dead Thursday afternoon by Alaska Army National Guard searchers, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Andy Andersen, 38, of Sutton was reported missing Monday just before 8:30 p.m., according to an online troopers dispatch, after his red and white Aeronca Champion plane was reported overdue. The plane left Valdez around 5 p.m. and was expected to arrive in Sutton, Anderson’s home, around 6:30 p.m.

Troopers said a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter found the wreckage of Andersen’s plane around 2:15 p.m. Thursday about 1,000 feet from the Richardson Highway at the top of Thompson Pass, located approximately 25 miles outside of the port town of Valdez.

Alaska’s News Source has interviewed Andersen on three occasions for stories about the Valley Rally Raceway, a motocross track he built in his backyard in Sutton. Over the years it became a popular place to introduce kids to the sport through camps. Friday on social media many shared memories and messages on Andersen’s Facebook page.

Andersen’s body was recovered from the wreckage site and will be taken to the State Medical Examiner’s office, troopers said, while the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the scene. Troopers said next of kin have been notified.

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