Articles Posted in FLIGHT ACCIDENT

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Five passengers from the Holland American Line cruise ship New Amsterdam have lost their lives in a sightseeing excursion plane crash near Ketchikan Alaska.  The accident happened Thursday, when a De Havilland Beaver aircraft crashed near Misty Fjords National Monument approximately eight miles   northeast of Ketchikan Alaska. The pilot of the aircraft was also killed in the accident which had no survivors. Authorities were alerted to the crash by the plane’s emergency alert beacon which was activated around 11:30AM .   United States Coast Guard helicopter rescue crews subsequently located the crash site around 2:30 PM and confirmed the tragic loss.   The Coast Guard indicates the weather conditions around take off for the plane were a 900-foot cloud ceiling with two miles of visibility, with mist and light rain, and 9 mph winds.

The sightseeing plane was reportedly owned and operated by Southeast Aviation LLC.   A statement released by Holland America indicated the excursion ticket was not sold by Holland America. Early reports indicate the lost passengers started their seven day Holland America cruise in Seattle and Ketchikan was the cruise ship’s first stop.

Ketchikan is one of the regular Alaska cruise ship stops and offers wide variety of excursions for cruise ship passengers while the cruise vessels are in port including many float plane sight-seeing trips. Unfortunately, several flights near Misty Fjords have turned deadly.  In 2019 a mid air collision between two sightseeing planes resulted in the death of six passengers.  In 2015 another sightseeing excursion plane crashed into a mountain side killing nine persons.

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PenAir flight 3296 from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor has crashed after running off the runway in Dutch Harbor on Thursday.    The plane was carrying 39 passengers and three crewmen.  Tragically one man, David Oltman of Washington State, has died from injuries suffered in the crash and another was in critical condition.  Reports indicate multiple passengers suffered injuries and are receiving medical care.  Passengers aboard the plane included a high school swim team from Cordova.  All of the swim team is reported to be safe but shaken by the crash.

The plane was a Saab 2000 aircraft. The plane reportedly abandoned one previous landing attempt before a second attempt resulted in the plane skidding off the end of the runway and down an embankment.  Weather conditions at the time of the accident were reported to be rain, winds of 24 miles with gust to 31 miles per hour.

The plane was lifted from the crash by a large crane and barge on Saturday. The flight data recorder and voice recorder have been recovered from the plane and are being analyzed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash and has sent a team of investigators to Dutch Harbor to investigate.

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