Anchorage woman, 2 dogs killed in floatplane crash near Skwentna

plane crash debris on a lake
An aerial view of aircraft debris on the surface of Whiskey Lake near Skwentna, after a fatal Sept. 25, 2022 plane crash. (From Alaska State Troopers)

An Anchorage woman died Sunday when the floatplane she was flying crashed into a lake near Skwentna, Alaska State Troopers say.

Troopers identified the pilot as 67-year-old Janell Rude. She was the only person aboard.

Troopers say Rude’s Cessna 180A crashed into Whiskey Lake near the Mat-Su Borough community of Skwentna, about 70 air miles northwest of Anchorage. They got report of the crash just before 4 p.m.

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center sent a U.S. Air Force rescue team to the site. They found the plane fully submerged in the lake, and also found Rude’s body.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Heidi Kemner, who was traveling to Whiskey Lake Monday to look into why the floatplane crashed, said two dogs were also killed. Kemner said the plane is overturned in the water.

“And so we’re going to work on getting it recovered so that we can look at it, and kind of make a plan for that end,” she said.

No details were initially available on the Cessna’s origin and destination, or whether a flight plan had been filed. Kemner said weather conditions near the lake were reportedly good, with preliminary information showing cloud ceilings at 8,000 to 11,000 feet.

Kemner said the NTSB plans to file a preliminary report on the crash within the next 10 days, with a final report typically delivered in 18 to 24 months.

Troopers say Rude’s family have been notified, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration. The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy.

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