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Gregory Smith Dies after Teslin Lake Crash, 2001

Plane crash kills Alaskan

Yukon News, Monday, April 2, 2001

    A man from North Pole, Alaska, is dead after his plane crashed into Teslin Lake. Forty-three-year-old Gregory Smith, the lone occupant of his Cessna 210, was pronounced dead at the scene.
    At 9:412 Friday night, the Whitehorse Flight Service Station informed police a plane expected from Fort St. John, BC, had not arrived.
    Police searched the Alaska Highway and emergency airstrips, and tried to track down an emergency-location beacon but found nothing.
    Early Saturday, an air search was conducted and a Teslin resident spotted the wreckage on the ice, about seven kilometres northwest of the community.
    "It looks like it hit and then probably bounced and rolled a few times," said RCMP Cpl. Tim Ashmore, who was at the scene.
    "The plane was in pieces, the front end was caved in pretty good, the wings were off it, the propeller was off it."
    It appeared Smith's body was ejected from the plane, as he was found 10 metres from the wreckage, added Ashmore.
    The cause of the crash is still being investigated by RCMP and representatives of the Transport Safety Board, who arrived during the weekend.
    Strong winds and blowing snow may have been factors in the crash, as Smith had radioed Flight Services complaining of a snowstorm, said Ashmore.

Juneau Daily News Online
Monday, February 4, 2002

A Canadian coroner says the recovery of an Alaska pilot who crashed on a frozen Yukon lake last year was delayed because his plane's emergency locator transmitter was turned off. Coroner Sharon Hanley says the delay caused Gregory Smith of North Pole to succumb to blood loss and hypothermia.

In a report released last week, Hanley said Smith died from external blood loss and inhalation of blood from the multiple injuries he suffered in the plane crash March 30th.

Smith was flying his new Cessna 210 home from Kansas, where he'd been visiting family three days after celebrating his 43rd birthday. He was a former U.S. Air Force air traffic controller in Alaska and had flown the route from Alaska to Kansas several times before.

Smith crashed on Teslin Lake while trying to follow the Alaska Highway the last 99 miles from Teslin to Whitehorse during a snowstorm.

His last communication with the Whitehorse control tower was at 6:44 pm. A search started three hours later after the control tower staff decided Smith had run out of fuel if he was still in the air. Smith's plane wasn't found until 8 the next morning.

Arctic & Northern Aviation