The Latest: Debris in lake may be from missing Alaska plane

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2016 12:04 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on missing Alaska plane with four on board (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

An official says debris believed to be from a small plane carrying four people that's missing in Alaska has been found in a lake near where the aircraft took off from.

National Park Service spokesman John Quinley says searchers found the debris floating on Lake Clark Thursday.

He says the items are believed to belong to the occupants of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee.

The plane on Wednesday took off from Port Alsworth, which is situated on the 50-mile-long lake.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Quinley didn't describe the type of debris, but he said it was not wreckage of the aircraft.

He says he has no new information on the status of the missing occupants.

Crews early Friday are resuming their search of the site, which is in Lake Clark National Park.

He says the families of the missing have been notified.

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2:40 p.m.

A small plane that's missing in Alaska with four people on board was rented by a pilot described as a man who makes good decisions.

That's according to Nate Sobie, the manager of the True North Aviation flight school in Port Alsworth who rented out the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee to the party on Wednesday.

Sobie declined to identify those on board because the search is continuing.

The plane left Port Alsworth about 10 a.m. Wednesday and was due in Anchorage 170 miles to the northeast around noon.

Responders say the search has been hampered by fog and darkness in at Lake Clark Pass, a narrow river valley believed to be part of the aircraft's flight path.

The missing plane is owned by Glen Alsworth Sr. and his family, but it's on loan to the aviation business. Alsworth says the community of about 200 was named after his family, adding his father homesteaded there in 1944.

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11:30 a.m.

Responders in Alaska say the search for a missing small plane with four people on board has been hampered by fog and darkness in a narrow river valley believed to be part of the aircraft's flight path.

Alaska Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton says the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee left Port Alsworth about 10 a.m. Wednesday and was due in Anchorage 170 miles to the northeast around noon.

Eagerton says night was falling when the search was launched late Wednesday afternoon with an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and two C-130 transport planes. He says that beside darkness, searchers ran into fog at Lake Clark Pass.

The search was resumed at first light Thursday. Eagerton says searchers include a helicopter, C-130 and Civil Air Patrol aircraft.

In a separate incident this week, former Republican state Rep. Mike Kelly of Fairbanks was killed Wednesday in a plane crash in Alaska's interior.

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8:25 a.m.

A single-engine airplane with four people on board is missing on a flight in Alaska.

Anchorage television station KTUU (http://bit.ly/2gf5Utm) reports a search is underway for the single-engine plane that left Port Alsworth on Wednesday morning. The plane was due in Anchorage around noon.

The airplane's flight path called for transiting Lake.

The Alaska Air National Guard is searching for the missing airplane.

Members of the California Air National Guard are in Alaska for training operations and are assisting in the search.

The names of the people on board have not been released.

Port Alsworth is within Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. The community is about 170 miles southwest of Anchorage.

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Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com