Anchorage police have released the names of the five people who were killed on impact aboard a small plane which crashed Friday morning at the Birchwood airport.
According to APD spokesperson Marlene Lammers, all five victims -- pilot Lonn Greiner, 46; his mother Carolyn Greiner, 69; and Lonn Greiner's three children, Glory, 13, Nathan, 11 and Grace, 10 -- were from Eagle River.
Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Virginia McMichael says units were called to the airport at 10:15 a.m. The Cessna 180, tail number N4955A, was headed for Seldovia for an overnight trip and believed to have a full load of fuel when it crashed on Alaska Railroad tracks near the airport and exploded.
"He was headed to Seldovia. They have a little cabin over there and they were going to spend Memorial Day just having a good time," said Stewart Smith, a longtime friend of Lonn Greiner.
"Lonnie was like everyone else-- he wanted to live the Alaskan lifestyle and he was doing it, and he lived a good, honest decent life. He cared about people and that he took care of people and he took care of his family and was a kind and generous man," Smith said.
Friends say the legacy of the family will live on because of the missionary work they did throughout their lives.
Lonn Greiner worked as a pilot mechanic and a longtime hockey coach, but his friends say first and foremost he was a father and a man of God.
"For me he was just a great example of how to live your life", Greiner’s friend Matt Peterkin said. "I think that was how he was remembered by a lot of people -- that's how I want to remember him."
Greiner helped build a Christian mission in east Russia. When the work was done, he gave the men there his tools so they could continue to build their lives. His children followed in their father's example by joining mission trips throughout the state.
Friday’s crash victims are survived by Greiner's wife Denine and a teenage son, Lorne.
NTSB investigators arrived at the scene shortly before noon. Alaska Railroad officials said the wreckage was cleared and the railroad was reopened shortly after 4 p.m.Jason Lamb, Mike Ross and Ashton Goodell contributed to this report.