At about 18:32 Alaska time, a Cessna 172S crashed into the ocean about 10 miles east of Whittier, killing the pilot. At 17:25 a witness aboard a boat saw the accident airplane flying 10 feet off the water, with the wings rocking back and forth and almost touching the water. The witness gave a statement that said the plane was on a collision course for the cabin and pilothouse of the boat. The body of the aircraft passed between the bow anchor and the pilothouse window. Other boats reported similar experiences over the marine radio. At 18:32, a passing airplane received a distress call from the accident airplane pilot stating that he had a loss of engine power and that he was going down.