FAA: 5 fatalities in Alaska small plane crash

AP News
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Posted: May 27, 2011 7:03 PM
FAA: 5 fatalities in Alaska small plane crash

A small airplane crashed near a suburban Anchorage airport Friday, exploding on impact and killing all five family members on board.

The victims were identified as pilot Lonn Greiner, 46; his mother, Carolyn Greiner, 69; and his three children, Glory, 13; Nathan, 11, and Grace, 10, Anchorage police spokeswoman Marlene Lammers said. All were from Eagle River, Alaska.

The family was en route to Seldovia, on the Kenai Peninsula, for an overnight trip.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off Friday morning from the Birchwood airport in Chugiak, about 20 miles north of Anchorage.

The Cessna 180 crashed north of the runway, landed on the railroad tracks and was immediately engulfed in flames, Lammers said.

A witness who works near the airport, Joe Rinehart, didn't see the crash but saw the flames.

"All it was was wingtips, a tail and a smashed engine. There was nothing left _ there was no way to survive that," he told the Anchorage Daily News.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board has investigators at the crash site. The cause of the crash is not known.