Neither man aboard a Taylorcraft BC-12D that crashed in Six Mile Lake in southern Alaska May 17 had a pilot certificate and authorities have found no evidence that they ever did according to the NTSB’s preliminary report. The aircraft took off from Port Alsworth Airport headed to Nondalton Airport, 24 miles away, with David Hedgers, 58, at the controls and Aaron Fryar, 45, listed as a passenger. Clint Johnson, the NTSB’s senior representative in Alaska told Alaska Public Media that neither his agency nor the FAA has found any record of pilot, student pilot or medical certificates for either man. “At this point right now, all indications are that neither one of these occupants were certified pilots,” Johnson said.

Still it’s not clear if lack of credentials played a role in the accident, Johnson said. “We don’t know what the training was, what the decision-making was,” Johnson said. “The basic answer to that question is, we don’t know what kind of training the pilot had because he never received the pilot’s certificate.” The weather was bad with low clouds with fog and reduced visibility. The plane was found in shallow water about three miles from Nondalton. Acquaintances of the two men told investigators Hedgers had recently bought the plane.

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