Daniel Lowell, 08-29-99
Maureen Sims

By Peter Porco, Daily News Reporter
Wednesday Sept 1, 1999, ADN

The bodies of a man and woman from Anchorage were found Wednesday afternoon in the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in the Kenai Mountains, Alaska State Troopers said.

Pilot Daniel Lowell and passenger Maureen Sims died when Lowell's floatplane crashed sometime Sunday afternoon and burned on impact, troopers said. The plane and its occupants had been the object of an extensive air search Monday and Tuesday.

Lowell, 38, was vice president and chief operating officer of Ribelin Lowell and Co., an Anchorage insurance brokerage, and Sims, 44, was a friend and was self-employed, members of Lowell's family said.

The wreckage was found at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday by a Civil Air Patrol pilot, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.
The plane crashed at the 3,000-foot level of a mountain about two miles north of the Quartz Creek landing strip at Kenai Lake. Troopers were unable to reach the site Tuesday because of high winds but planned to try again today, Wilkinson said.

Lowell had departed Summit Lake in the Kenai Mountains at 1:25 p.m. Sunday in a Cessna 170, headed in the direction of Seward on a flightseeing trip, authorities said. The plane had about 2-3 hours' fuel and was expected back at Campbell Lake in Anchorage about 3:30 or 4 p.m.

Family members reported Lowell overdue at 8 a.m. Monday. By 1:15 p.m., the first Civil Air Patrol volunteers were airborne, said Sgt. David Streit of the Alaska Air National Guard.

Among aircraft involved in the search were an Air Guard HC-130 Hercules, a trooper helicopter, more than a half-dozen planes of the Civil Air Patrol, and up to 18 private planes and helicopters belonging to family members and friends of the victims.

The couple left Anchorage Saturday for Summit Lake, where they overnighted with Lowell's mother and her husband, said Lowell's sister, Betty Brady. Sunday's clear weather beckoned a sightseeing flight, Brady said.

"It was a gorgeous day," she said. "It was the end of August, and we don't get many like that." - Anchorage businessman Daniel Lowell, 38, was one of two people found dead after Lowell's floatplane crashed Sunday.