Suicide pilot in Alaska took plane without permission

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An organization that owns a small plane that crashed into downtown Anchorage, Alaska, office buildings says the pilot didn’t seek authorization to use the search-and-rescue aircraft and took it without permission.

Civil Air Patrol national spokeswoman Julie DeBardelaben said Monday that pilot Doug Demarest did not make a request to fly, as required by the organization.

Demarest was the only person killed when his Cessna 172 clipped a building housing the law firm Dorsey & Whitney on Dec. 29 before slamming into another building before most area businesses had opened for the day.

Family spokeswoman Jahna Lindemuth has said the death was a suicide.

The 42-year-old Demarest was flying a plane owned by the Civil Air Patrol after taking it from its hangar at Merrill Field, a small airport on the edge of downtown.

Dorsey & Whitney reopened its offices Monday, almost a week after the crash. Demarest’s wife was named a partner at the firm after the crash.