One dead in plane crash along Benny Benson Drive

Crashed Wag-Aero 2+2 piloted by Derek Leichliter.

Federal investigators are heading to Kodiak after a small plane crashed Sunday afternoon shortly after takeoff.

Authorities have released few details on the 2 p.m. crash except to confirm that a 39-year-old Soldotna man piloting the plane was killed, a few hundred yards from the runway near Kodiak’s East Elementary School.

Kodiak police named the deceased pilot as Derek Leichliter. He was reportedly en route to Saltery Cove for a hunting trip.

The aircraft was not carrying any passengers and there’s been little information gathered so far by crash investigators, according to Clint Johnson, National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska office chief.

“We do have two investigators en route to Kodiak as we speak right now. And that’ll be the first order of business, is trying to figure out what the intent of the flight was, where it was headed, what the load was on board and to gain those details.”

Johnson confirmed that the plane Leichliter was flying was a Wag-Aero 2+2, a single-engine kit aircraft that resembles a Piper Super Cub.



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