- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Latest on investigators saying a bald eagle struck a small plane before in crashed last month in Alaska (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Federal investigators in Alaska are trying to determine which part of a small airplane an eagle struck before the aircraft crashed, killing all four on board.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Shaun Williams says pieces of the eagle’s remains were on the tail structure of the Cessna 172, which went down April 20 just north of Anchorage.

Much of the evidence in the crash was consumed in a fire. However, Williams says the agency is investigating whether the impact actually happened on the tail structure of the plane.

That could have altered the flight path or damaged the plane to the point the pilot had control issues.

That will be a focus as investigators work over the next 10 to 12 months on a final report.

___

10:43 a.m.

A small airplane hit a bald eagle before it crashed just north of Anchorage, Alaska, last month, killing all four people on board.

An investigator says it’s the nation’s first civilian plane crash to result in deaths after an impact with a bald eagle.

Shaun Williams with the National Transportation Safety Board says there have been other crashes involving eagle strikes that resulted in serious injuries, not deaths.

The pilot, co-pilot and two passengers died when the plane went down April 20 near a small airport about 20 miles north of Anchorage.

Williams says an unknown substance was later found on the aircraft. Analysis at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., determined some of it was feathers and other materials that came from an immature bald eagle.

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