Son, friend and student: Pilot killed in Willow plane crash remembered

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A deadly plane crash in Willow has claimed the life of a pilot, but family members say he was much more than just a young man who loved to fly.

Photo provided by: Cathy Richter

"A loving son and a generous friend" are the words family members used to describe 24-year-old Colt Richter.

Richter was a graduate of West High School and had earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusettes Institute of Technology. A 2012 profile article released by MIT News shows Richter had a love of aviation from a young age. "As a child, Richter flew small planes with his father and received his pilot's license on his 17th birthday," the article reads.

He told the publication, "We have a cabin about 50 miles from Anchorage that you have to fly to in order to get to. So my whole life I've been surrounded by it."

In an email to Channel 2 News, Richter's mother Cathy said her son had been working as a commercial pilot for the past four years and had plans to start med school next month at the University of Washington.

"Colt loved the Alaskan way of life and enjoyed hunting, fishing and anything that involved the outdoors," Richter wrote about her son.

Two other people, a woman and toddler, were injured in the crash. The boy has been released from the hospital, and the woman is still recovering, but was able to talk to NTSB investigators.

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