Investigators close case in fatal Alaska plane crash mystery

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ADMIRALTY ISLAND, Alaska (AP) - Federal investigators closed their investigation into a decade-old fatal plane crash mystery on an Alaska island, concluding the pilot accidentally flew into a mountain.

The National Transportation Safety Board last week issued its final report in the 2008 crash on Admiralty Island that claimed the lives of pilot Brian Andrews and his son, Brandon, the Juneau Empire reported .

Andrews, who at the time was Alaska's deputy commissioner of revenue, accidentally flew his plane into a mountain amid worsening weather conditions, investigator Michael Hodges concluded.

Hodges' report ends a mystery that began on Aug. 9, 2008. Andrews had previously flown from Admiralty Island's Young Lake to Juneau International Airport's seaplane base to deliver some camping equipment to his older son, Brent, who is also known as B.J. Andrews flew back to the lake with Brandon for another load of gear, but the two never returned.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Juneau Mountain Rescue and other searchers combed a wide area of Admiralty Island, but they found no sign of the missing plane or the two men.

The pair was missing and presumed dead until October 2017, when a deer hunter found the wreckage of their aircraft on a heavily forested mountainside near Admiralty Island's Young Lake.

The remains of the pilot and his son were found in the plane's wreckage.

B.J. Andrews told the Juneau Empire Thursday that he has not read the final report but has been generally pleased with the investigation.

"I also feel that we've gotten some closure out of the finding and being able to put down Brandon's remains in the ground, which has given the family a place where we can go and find them," he said.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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