Alaska State Troopers have identified a Dillingham pilot who is presumed dead after witnesses saw his plane crash on Tikchik Lake Sunday afternoon.
According to a Tuesday AST dispatch, 71-year-old Albert Newton “Newt” Ball’s 1944-model G-44 Grumman Widgeon was found in roughly 40 feet of water at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. He was believed to have been the aircraft’s sole occupant.
A hunting guide told Dillingham troopers at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday that he and a hunter saw Ball’s Widgeon flip while landing and sink in the lake, with nobody escaping from the plane.
Troopers alerted the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, but bad weather and murky water slowed both troopers’ arrival at the crash site and their search for the plane.
A search effort for Ball involving troopers, state park personnel and volunteers was expected to continue Wednesday.
Contact Chris Klint