National News

July 8, 2013

NTSB: 10 killed in Alaska plane crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An air taxi crashed Sunday at a small Alaska airport, killing all 10 people on board and leaving the aircraft fully engulfed in flames before firefighters could get to it, authorities said.

The de Havilland DHC3 Otter air taxi crashed just after 11 a.m. at the airport in Soldotna, a community about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage and located on the Kenai Peninsula.

“We do have 10 fatalities, unfortunately, nine passengers, one pilot,” National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson told The Associated Press.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Otter was operated by Rediske Air, based out of another Kenai Peninsula community, Nikiski.

Will Satathite, who was working Sunday at Rediske Air’s Nikiski office, confirmed to the Peninsula Clarion newspaper that the aircraft was flown by Nikiski pilot and company owner Willy Rediske with nine passengers onboard.

A man who didn’t identify himself at the Rediske office declined comment later Sunday to the AP, saying the crash was under investigation.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Meagan Peters said a fire that consumed the aircraft initially kept firefighters from reaching the wreckage. The victims have not been identified.

The Soldotna Police Department said Sunday evening that the remains of all 10 people have been recovered and sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for autopsies and positive identifications.

Police said in a release through the Alaska State Troopers that weather at the time of the crash was reported to be cloudy with a light wind.

Johnson said initial reports have the plane crashing after departure, but that will have to be confirmed by investigators.

The NTSB is sending an investigative team from Washington, D.C., and they are scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon. Also taking part will be Alaska-based investigator Brice Banning, who was called back from the Asiana crash in San Francisco Sunday.

For many Alaskans, flying across the state is common because of the limited road system, exposing residents to a litany of hazards including treacherous mountain passes and volatile weather. It’s possible to drive from Anchorage to Soldotna, but it’s about a four-hour trip as the highway hugs Turnagain Arm and then cuts through a mountain passage.

Soldotna was founded in 1947 by World War II veterans, who were given 90-day preference for homesteading rights in 1947, according to a state website. The city, now with a population of about 4,300, is on the banks of the Kenai River, and the area is busy this time of the year with people fishing for salmon.

Alaska has already seen a several plane crashes this year, including a June 28 crash that killed a pilot and two passengers on a commercial tour in the Alaska Range.

In another crash Saturday, two men had to swim to shore after their plane crashed in the waters off Kodiak Island. The small plane crashed after its engine sputtered out, and the men swam about 50 yards, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.

The Soldotna crash also comes a day after two teenagers were killed when the Asiana flight crashed at San Francisco’s airport.

The municipal airport is located about a mile from Soldotna’s commercial business area and is adjacent to the Kenai River, according to the city’s website.

The runway is 5,000 foot long and paved.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

    Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

    April 19, 2014

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    Government documents show that General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and warranty repair claims.

    April 19, 2014

  • Captain of sunken SKorean ferry, 2 crew arrested

    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into custody, including a rookie third mate who a prosecutor said was steering in challenging waters unfamiliar to her when the accident occurred.

    April 19, 2014

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats

    As President Barack Obama travels through Asia this coming week, he will confront a region that’s warily watching the crisis in Ukraine through the prism of its own territorial tensions with China.

    April 19, 2014

  • Delay won’t quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

    Democrats sweating this year’s elections may be hoping that the Obama administration’s latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.

    April 19, 2014

  • 5 features an Amazon phone might offer

    A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

    April 19, 2014

  • Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

    A college student eats more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumps to his death from a hotel balcony. A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy.

    April 19, 2014

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors

    With an expanded field of runners and the memory of last year’s bombings elevating interest in one of the world’s great races, the 2014 Boston Marathon could bring an unprecedented wave of visitors and an influx of tourism dollars to the area.

    April 19, 2014

  • Autopsy to ID dead boy; body cast off side of road

    All Massachusetts authorities could say for sure is that they found the lifeless body of a small boy, apparently cast off the side of a highway.

    April 19, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know: This Week’s Takeaways

    Looking back at the stories to remember from the past week:

    April 19, 2014