Anchorage pilot dies, two suffer injuries in Willow plane crash

A young pilot is dead and two passengers injured after a plane crashed Wednesday night in Willow.

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Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot as 24-year-old Colt Richter of Anchorage. According to his Facebook page, Richter graduated from MIT in 2016.

Richter was flying for Anchorage-based Regal Air when the crash occurred. His plane took off from Willow Lake Wednesday evening with two passengers and cargo on board.

According to the trooper dispatch, Richter’s plane crashed immediately after takeoff in a wooded residential area near Long Lake Road and Barrington Loop, west of milepost 69 of the Parks Highway.

It sparked a fire in the area, and the crash was then reported to the Alaska State Troopers Wednesday night around 7 p.m. Forestry, Fire and Wildlife troopers joined medics and state troopers on scene.

Richter’s next of kin has been notified and the two others reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Emily Russell is the voice of Alaska morning news as Alaska Public Media’s Morning News Host and Producer.

Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Emily moved to Alaska in 2012. She skied her way through three winters in Fairbanks, earning her Master’s degree in Northern Studies from UAF.

Emily’s career in radio started in Nome in 2015, reporting for KNOM on everything from subsistence whale harvests to housing shortages in Native villages. She then worked for KCAW in Sitka, finally seeing what all the fuss with Southeast, Alaska was all about.

Back on the road system, Emily is looking forward to driving her Subaru around the region to hike, hunt, fish and pick as many berries as possible. When she’s not talking into the mic in the morning, Emily can be found reporting from the peaks above Anchorage to the rivers around Southcentral.

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