NTSB: Cessna Struck Eagle Prior To Crash In Alaska


A Cessna 172 that crashed in in Alaska in April, killing all four on board, had struck a bald eagle, the NTSB found in its ongoing investigation. The lead investigator said this week it appears to be the first U.S. fatal crash for a civil flight resulting from a bald eagle strike, according to an Alaska Dispatch News report.Residue that appeared to be remains of a bird was found and analyzed, NTSB officials said in the report, “and it was determined to contain feather particles of an immature bald eagle.”

“It’s the first civil aircraft accident following an impact with a bald eagle that resulted in fatalities,” the investigator said.The Cessna crashed April 20 in wooded terrain about two miles southwest of Birchwood Airport near Chugiak, northwest of Anchorage. A post-crash fire consumed most of the aircraft, according to the NTSB’s preliminary report. The Cessna was on a local aerial photography flight in VFR weather about 9 a.m. local time. Radar data show it maneuvering in various areas, its altitude ranging from 1,500 to about 2,400 feet. Later on, radar data was lost when the airplane was about 800 feet msl, with a groundspeed of about 102 knots.