National Transportation Safety Board investigator Cathy Gagne said that Hancock, the sole occupant of the aircraft, was in communication with the Merrill Field tower when the plane apparently crashed during takeoff.* * * * *
. . . According to witnesses, the plane was airborne before it crashed nose-down, Gagne said.
And Nome, Alaska has a problem you wouldn't normally expect.
Nome is used to rowdy residents, but some relatively new transplants are making a real nuisance of themselves -- although unlike the colorful characters of the early 20th century gold rush days, these visitors have four legs, not two.
Musk oxen are wandering into the city on the Seward Peninsula, and despite loud noises, water hoses and even a blow-up bear coated in ursine urine, they don't want to leave.
The animals -- actually more closely related to goats and sheep than to oxen -- are large, hairy and, as their name implies, smelly, thanks to a scent gland males use to attract mates. With large horns, standing up to 5 feet tall and weighing in at close to half a ton, adult musk oxen can pose a threat to people and pets that either get too close or attract the hulking animals' ire. There are an estimated 100 musk oxen near Nome, in about four or five different groups, according to Tony Gorn, a wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Gorn said several dogs have been killed by the musk oxen, although so far, no people have been hurt.
There's more at the link.