Father grieves loss of his son killed in Chickaloon plane crash

“He would show up... That’s who he was”
“He would show up... That’s who he was”
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:32 PM AKST
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Palmer, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s been four days since a plane went down in the Matanuska River near Chickaloon, where 46-year-old Palmer resident Joshua Seagrave died as a result of the crash.

While investigators still work to piece the incident together, Joshua’s father Stephen Seagrave is still piecing together the loss of his son.

“He was a gentle person,” Stephen Seagrave said. “If you were somebody that he knew and you were having a tough time or having some struggles, he would be there.”

According to Joshua’s father, Seagrave moved to Alaska from Arizona with his longtime girlfriend Jen in January.

“They fell in love with the state and decided that you know, they were going to get out of the corporate world,” Stephen recalled. “Come up here and live their dream.”

After settling down in Palmer, Seagrave began working on his airframe and powerplant certification, which would allow him to perform general aviation maintenance. The Army veteran served about 10 years in the military, focusing on a career as an Airborne Ranger.

“Josh loved, you know, jumping out of planes,” Stephen said. “He had gotten his pilot license and just loved flying.”

FAA records indicate that Seagrave was flying a Piper PA-18 Supercub the day he passed away. Initial reports say Seagrave’s plane collided with a cable suspended over the Matanuska River just before 1 p.m. on Nov. 10. The National Transportation Safety Board is still working with the Federal Aviation Administration to release a preliminary investigation, while many questions remain unanswered regarding the legality of the cable or if Above Ground Level (AGL) minimums were violated.

The owner of the cable was on the scene after the crash was reported, and appeared to be cooperating with the NTSB investigator. He declined to comment on the matter Monday.

According to NTSB Alaska Region Chief Clint Johnson, a preliminary report is expected to come out early next week.

In the meantime, Stephen Seagrave is mourning the loss of his son but has found comfort in reading the hundreds of heartfelt messages and comments he has received on social media. He said he’s been amazed at the number of people sharing their personal stories of Joshua.

“He knew people all over the United States and all over the world from training missions that he had done,” Stephen stated. “Lots and lots of stories like that where, you know, people that needed support — he would show up. And that’s who he was.”