A bald eagle caused a plane to burst into flames and kill four in Alaska last month, according to air safety investigators.
On April 20, a plane crashed into a wooded area just outside of Anchorage, Alaska, killing pilot George Kobelnyk, 64, co-pilot, Christian Bohrer, 20, and passengers Sarah Glaves, 36, and Kyle Braun, 27. They were taking aerial photographs for a private company.
After examining the remains, the National Transportation Security board discovered an unidentified substance and sent it to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to conduct a forensic analysis.
"They were able to determine that the portions of feather and other material came from an immature bald eagle,” NTSB spokesman Shaun Williams said.
While eagles have collided with planes before, this is the first civilian aircraft accident to result in death following impact with the iconic bird.
Banner image credit: Lewis Hulbert