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Park Service Pilot Rescued Following Plane Crash

Airplane at Nome-Golovin 2015
One Cessna plane in the air above Nome. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

The pilot of a National Park Service airplane that crashed in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve on Monday morning has been treated for his injuries and released from the hospital.

According to a statement from NPS, the pilot, Rick Dolan was on duty and flying from Kotzebue to Nome when his Cessna 185 went down about four miles northeast of Serpentine Hot Springs. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) received an emergency transmission from his aircraft just after 9am Monday.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot from Nome attempted to reach Dolan later that morning but was turned back due to poor weather conditions.

Multiple attempts to rescue the pilot were unsuccessful due to high winds, blowing snow, and white-out conditions. Eventually, RCC dispatched a team of pararescuers with the Alaska National Guard aboard a HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter, which safely landed at the crash site sometime after 5pm Monday.

Dolan was stabilized and then transported to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, where he was treated for his injuries and released in good health.

Image at top: file photo: a small, Cessna aircraft in the skies above Nome. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.