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After a three-day search in the interior of the state, the husband and wife subjects of the search, Arther and Ann Ward, of Salcha, were located in the wreckage of their Piper PA-18 Super Cub that was found crashed 30 miles southwest of Fort Greely on Wednesday afternoon.
The wreckage was located by an Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk chopper as it was out conducting a site survey training mission. The chopper touched down near the crash site at Denim Ridge and confirmed the identity of the crashed aircraft and located the remains of the couple who had been missing since Monday.
The Rescue Coordination Center had coordinated a search effort comprised of “nine aircraft from agencies including the Alaska Air National Guard, Civil Air Patrol, National Park Service, Alyeska Pipeline Service and approximately 10 Good Samaritan aircraft operated by volunteer pilots,” Lt.Col Candis Olmstead reported in a release yesterday.
All possible routes the aircraft could have flown on its trip from Salcha to the Ward’s homestead west of McCarthy. The Wards had departed the Sewell airstrip late Sunday morning and were to arrive at their destination late on Sunday afternoon.
The aircraft was not equipped with an emergency locator beacon and the Wards did not contact anyone while on their ill-fated flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board will access the site on Thursday to initiate their investigation into the cause of the crash.