Update: Airport Police and Fire officials identified the man killed in the crash as Jon Tanner, 51, of Fairbanks, said Deputy Chief Dan Grimes. Tanner's next of kin have been notified.
Tanner was traveling with Bruce Nahorney and juvenile male who could not be publicly identified because of his age, Grimes said. Nahorney and the juvenile male were transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Correction: The aircraft has been identified has a four-seat Cessna 172, according to National Traffic Safety Board investigator Chris Shaver. A previous report incorrectly identified the plane as a two-seat Cessna 150.
FAIRBANKS — One person died after a small plane with three people aboard crashed off the south end of Fairbanks International Airport about 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
“All three occupants received injuries and were transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where one was pronounced deceased,” said Angie Spear, division operations manager for the airport, about 8 p.m.
No information about the victims’ identities, ages or genders was available as of 8 p.m. Thursday.
“I’m sure that’s because they’re trying to notify next of kin,” Spear said.
The Cessna 172 crashed on take-off at the south end of taxiway C, she said.
A reporter on the scene about 6 p.m. said the blue and white aircraft came to rest in a ditch about 300 to 400 yards from the runway. The plane appeared to have crashed nose-first into a ditch separated from a frontage road by a fence. The crash caused significant damage to the front of the aircraft. The plane was pointed toward the runway when it came to rest.
Sixteen emergency vehicles from several fire and police departments were at the scene at 6 p.m. Spear said the University Fire Department, the Fairbanks Fire Department and Airport Police and Fire responded.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigator was on the scene within an hour of the crash, Spear said.
The main runway was shut down for about 20 minutes until the scene could be secured after the crash, Spear said.
The frontage road, University Avenue South, will be closed indefinitely, she said.
“It’ll be the case for some time, because they actually had to go through the fence to get to the victims,” she said. Cutting the fence created a security breach.
Contact Assistant Managing Editor Sam Bishop at 459-7574. Staff writer Jeff Richardson contributed to this story.