Cessna plane crashes near Nome, pilot survives impact, waits out storm

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NOME, Alaska (KTUU) - A pilot was found alive after his plane, a small Cessna model, crashed on the Seward Peninsula earlier this week. He was able to survive for more than a day until he was rescued.

The plane was a National Park Service official aircraft, officials announced Tuesday. At 9 a.m. Monday, the NPS pilot was able to radio for help from where the Cessna 185 crashed, four miles northeast of Serpentine Hot Springs, a region near Shishmaref.

According to NPS, the pilot who was based in Kotzebue, was able to communicate with a plane overhead and reported he had minor injuries and that there were no other passengers on board.

The pilot was reportedly flying a mission from Kotzebue to Nome when the plane crashed on Monday, taking what NPS described as "significant damage" to the airplane.

RCC dispatched pararescuemen with the Alaska Air National Guard, officials with NPS said in a news release. They were initially unable to reach the crash site due to high winds and blowing snow that continued all day, with temperatures remaining in the low teens.

AST tried to reach the pilot by ground, but the white-out conditions stopped their rescue as well, leaving the pilot to survive on his own until weather conditions improved, allowing the Pavehawk to land at the crash site.

The pilot was "located with adequate food and survival gear to wait out the storm despite his injuries," Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Evan Budd said.

He was stabilized and transported to Elmendorf and then to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, where he was treated and released.