ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The pilot of a small commuter airplane that crashed in Alaska and killed five people on board had limited experience in the aircraft, a preliminary report by federal aviation officials said.

The National Transportation Safety Board report said the Feb. 6 flight that crashed 30 minutes after takeoff was also missing equipment, KTUU-TV reported Tuesday.

The plane travelling from Bethel to Kipnuk did not have a tracking device, functional Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast unit, recorder devices or a GPS device, the agency’s report said.

The crash killed 66-year-old Charlie Carl, 42-year-old Donna Mesak, 45-year-old Carrie Peter, 18-year-old Quintin Peter, and 34-year-old pilot Tony Matthews.

The Yute Commuter Service Piper PA-32R-300 was carrying mail along with the pilot and passengers, the NTSB report said.

No emergency locator transmissions were received after the plane took off around 10:40 a.m., the agency said.


The Kipnuk village agent declared the plane overdue an hour later and the Federal Aviation Administration, Alaska Rescue Coordination Center and Alaska State Troopers were notified.

The pilot began his initial training with Paklook Air one month before the crash. Matthews logged just over 600 hours of flight time and 30 hours in the Piper PA-32R, , the report said.

The Feb. 6 flight was his fourth line flight with Paklook Air, the report said.

The wreckage of the plane still needs to be recovered, NTSB officials said.

The aircraft was found to be “highly fragmented,” with both wings separated from the fuselage and extensive damage to the right wing, the report said.