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Authorities have released the identities of the pilot and passenger of an aircraft crash in the Marvel Dome area that occurred on Thursday afternoon.
Troopers released the names of 62-year-old Mark Matter and 63-year-old Cecilia Matter as the victims of a fatal crash on the side of Marvel Dome four to five miles from the Marvel Creek strip mine.
An Alaska State Trooper and an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board in a chartered helicopter traveled to the scene of the crash on Saturday and retrieved the bodies of the victims and opened an investigation into the cause of the crash.
The investigation into the crash revealed that the aircraft, a red and white PA-11, impacted the side of Marvel Dome at a high rate of speed at the 2,000-foot level, killing both occupants upon impact.
The aircraft had departed the community of Aniak at 2 pm on Thursday, and when they did not return on Thursday as scheduled, family members flew out to the area on Friday morning and conducted a search for the missing aircraft. The searchers located the crash site, and reported that the aircraft appeared to be destroyed, and that there were no signs of life.
Weather conditions on Friday hampered the response of Aniak- based troopers in a Cessna 182, and they were forced to return to Aniak as weather conditions deteriorated.
The remains of both victims were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy.
Next of Kin have been notified of the findings.