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2 presumed dead in Cordova plane crash

Alaska Dispatch

Two men are presumed dead after a routine Alaska State Trooper aircraft patrol spotted their plane on a shoreline at the mouth of the Seal River near Cordova on Wednesday. A trooper dispatch describing the crash said that the patrolling trooper landed his plane and found the other aircraft unoccupied, battered by the water and ice that slough against the shoreline. An investigation revealed that the crashed Super Cub aircraft belonged to Richard Stoltzfus of Cordova, who had been piloting the plane, and John Dick of Oklahoma, who was a passenger in the aircraft when it went missing. Both men were described as being "in their 60s."

The trooper dispatch said that the men had traveled to the shore from a private cabin 25 miles away to gather chunks of ice for use in a cooler. According to troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters, the trooper was able to identify that the men had landed and taken back off before apparently crashing into the icy water. The men are being presumed dead due to the temperature of the water and the strong currents in the region.

"The water is so cold (there)," Peters said. "Icebergs float in that water. If they made it out of the plane, it would have been attempting to swim against the current of the water."

She added that it was unclear if Stoltzfus and Dick had any life preservers with them on board the plane. The men were experienced in the outdoors but had been missing for two days already, and if they had gotten out of the plane successfully and back to shore, they would most likely have been found by now, Peters said.