Update: In our ongoing mission to keep past stories current, we came across this one, the story of a floatplane that had gone missing in Alaska in 2008 but wasn’t located until 2017. Since we published that story and about a year after the missing plane’s discovery, the NTSB issued its final report on the August, 9, 2008, crash. The plane had gone missing for more than nine years. The probable cause, the Safety Board wrote, was “the pilot’s decision to continue visual flight into an area of instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot experiencing a loss of visual reference and subsequent controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s self-induced pressure to complete the flight.”
The NTSB reported that the plane was found in terrain that was just over 1,000 msl, steep and and heavily forested. The wreckage was not removed. And although documentation showed that a recent inspection had verified that the plane’s ELT was present and working, searchers could not locate it at the crash scene.
The wreckage of the plane was discovered by hunters three years ago in steep, forested terrain on Admiralty Island, Alaska. The plane, along with the two people on board—Brian and Brandon Andrews—went missing on August 9, 2008, on a short flight from Young Lake (Admiralty Island) to Juneau. Both Brian, 56 at the time, and his son, Brandon, 24, were pilots —Brian Andrews was also instrument rated—and they were very familiar with the route they were flying. The flight from Young Lake to Juneau generally takes around 20 minutes.
The aircraft was originally reported missing shortly after it was due in Juneau by B.J. Andrews, Brian’s elder son. Brian, B.J., and Brandon had been at the family’s cabin on Young Lake for a camping trip. Brian and Brandon flew B.J. and the family’s two dogs back to Juneau before returning to Young Lake to collect the rest of their camping gear. The lack of supplies at the campsite led authorities conclude that the plane had likely run into trouble on its return trip. Over the last nine years, dozens of searches have been conducted on foot, in the air, and on water. Until last week’s discovery, no sign of the aircraft or its occupants had been found.
The wreckage was discovered by a hunting party. The aircraft was identified by matching serial numbers on the airframe and engine block with the missing aircraft’s records. Identification was confirmed by the NTSB. Early reports are that it appears as though all on board were killed on impact.