Passenger in Anchor Point plane crash dies as NTSB report shows buckled wing during descent

a plane crash
A screenshot of dashcam footage showing Kurt St. Jean’s Super Cub before it crashed along the Sterling Highway on Dec. 8, 2023. (From NTSB)

The woman who was a passenger in a plane that crashed near Anchor Point earlier this month, killing the pilot, has died as federal investigators say one of the plane’s wings was seen on video buckled during its descent.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Wednesday about the Dec. 8 crash that killed Kurt Stjean and seriously injured Kristen Fenske. Alaska State Troopers said Fenske died Wednesday morning.

According to the report, the plane – a Piper PA-18-150 – was flying from King Salmon to Homer when it crashed at around 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 8. NTSB investigators retrieved video from a vehicle’s dash camera that showed the plane spinning before the crash. While falling, the left wing appeared to be folded against the main body of the aircraft.

After the onsite investigation, the board brought the wreckage to Wasilla. There, a board investigator and structural engineer from the plane’s manufacturer will examine the plane to determine the cause of the crash.

a plane crash
The plane wreckage near Anchor Point, seen during an on-site investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. (From NTSB)

Clint Johnson, the NTSB’s Alaska chief, said the video indicates the left wing somehow failed before the crash.

“We don’t know what the initiating event was, but we’re going to be centering it on the left wing at this point right now,” he said.

The investigation typically takes around a year to complete, Johnson said, but anything related to the aircraft’s safety will be released immediately.

Johnson asked that any crash witnesses the board has not yet contacted to email

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