Those pesky people buzzing around in their flying contraptions are a nuisance Bald eagle caused Alaska plane crash that killed 4; first fatal eagle-strike plane crash THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 5:23 PM istock It is the nation’s first civilian plane crash to result in deaths after an impact with a bald eagle, said Shaun Williams, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A small airplane hit a bald eagle before it crashed and burst into flames just north of Anchorage last month, killing all four people on board, authorities said Wednesday. It is the nation’s first civilian plane crash to result in deaths after an impact with a bald eagle, said Shaun Williams, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator. There have been other crashes involving eagle strikes that resulted in serious injuries, he said. The pilot, co-pilot and two passengers died when the plane went down April 20 near a small airport about 20 miles north of downtown Anchorage. They were conducting an aerial survey for a private firm. 3 DEAD AFTER SMALL PLANE CRASHES NEAR LONG ISLAND SCHOOLS Investigators found an unidentified substance on several portions of the plane’s frame and sent samples to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., for forensic analysis. “There, they were able to determine that the portions of feather and other material came from an immature bald eagle,” Williams said. Loren Holmes/AP Investigators examine the scene of a fatal airplane crash Wednesday, April 20, 2016, off Beach Lake Road near Chugiak, Alaska outside Anchorage. There were other eagles “observed over the crash site and in the immediate vicinity,” he added. Killed in the crash were the pilot, George Kobelnyk, 64; co-pilot, Christian Bohrer, 20; and two passengers, Sarah Glaves, 36, and Kyle Braun, 27. The pilot was formerly with the NTSB and retired from the Federal Aviation Administration, Williams said. The four were taking aerial photographs from an area near the Birchwood airport to the northern part of Cook Inlet. Much of the wreckage was found in an area of dense spruce and birch trees. A post-crash fire consumed most of the fuselage. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s website says Alaska has the largest population of bald eagles, which are found only in North America. It puts the Alaska bald eagle population at about 30,000 birds.