The Cessna 182 wreckage was found Tuesday near the Rainy Pass checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The famous 1000-mile race through Alaska, billed the "last great race on Earth," began Saturday.
Pilot Ted Smith, 59, a retired Anchorage police officer, and passengers Carolyn Sorvoja, 48, and Rosemarie Sorvoja, 10, were all killed. They were not part of the official "Iditarod Air Force" flying supplies along the route. It is unclear whether they were looking to volunteer or if Smith was ferrying mother and daughter spectators.
They left Anchorage on Monday morning bound for Takotna, a village about 235 miles northwest of Anchorage. The community is more than a quarter of the way into the Iditarod. The plane never arrived in Takotna and was reported missing when it did not return to Anchorage.
The Alaska Rescue Coordination center searched the flight path for several hours before spotting the wreckage. According to a spokesman for the Alaska National Guard, Smith was an experienced, well equipped pilot. But neither the personal locator beacon in his vest nor an emergency locator transmitter on his airplane sent any signals to the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system.