Pilot from Downed Aircraft Alive
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
Dan McGregor, 35, of Denali Park, the pilot of the missing Cessna 185 that was discovered crashed and burned on Thursday afternoon in Denali National Park, is alive. He has significant burns on his hands and face, and after being evaluated and stabilized by National Park Service and Tri-Valley emergency medical services personnel, is currently in route to a Seattle burn center (Anchorage is weathered in).
In spite of his injuries, McGregor walked from the crash site to the Denali Park Road, where he eventually encountered two campers at the Igloo Creek Campground. These unnamed good Samaritans drove McGregor to his home south of the park, where he first called his family to let them know he was alive, and then called the Alaska State Troopers. The National Park Service was notified at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.
McGregor was alert and in good spirits, talking to friends and family via cell phone while being treated and waiting for the plane to arrive from Fairbanks. He estimated that he walked 10-15 miles before encountering the campers. He will be interviewed by National Transportation Safety Board personnel as part of the accident investigation.
Did You Know?
Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.