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National Transportation Safety Board

Bald eagle caused Alaska plane crash that killed 4

Bald eagle caused Alaska plane crash that killed 4

A small airplane hit a bald eagle before crashing and bursting into flames just north of Anchorage last month, killing all four people onboard, authorities said Wednesday.

It is the nation's first civilian plane crash to result in deaths after an impact with a bald eagle, said Shaun Williams, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. There have been other crashes involving eagle strikes that resulted in serious injuries, he said.

The pilot, co-pilot and two passengers died when the plane went down April 20 near a small airport about 20 miles north of downtown Anchorage. They were conducting an aerial survey for a private firm.

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