Published August 02, 2010
DENALI NATIONAL PARK, Alaska – The National Park Service on Monday identified the three men who died when a large cargo plane crashed near the entrance of Denali National Park in Alaska.
The Fairchild C-123 went down Sunday afternoon on the south-facing slope of Mount Healy, within a mile of the park headquarters and about 200 yards north of the only road into the park.
Killed in the crash were 61-year-old Bill Michel of Delta Junction; 52-year-old John Eshleman of Wasilla and 66-year-old Paul Quartly of Wasilla.
The plane essentially disintegrated on impact, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said. No one on the ground was injured.
Michel was the owner of All West Freight Inc. of Delta Junction and the pilot of the company's C-123. The park service says the identities were determined through friends and relatives familiar with the plane and the intended flight.
National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators arrived at the crash site Monday. The medical examiner's office from Anchorage also arrived late Monday afternoon.
Investigators have conducted an aerial overview of the crash site, Fister said. Part of the investigation will be to determine the flight origination, destination and cargo.
The crash started a small wildfire. Fister said hot shot fire crews left the scene after containing the fire to one acre and had turned over jurisdiction to park personnel.