One person is dead and six were rescued from a floatplane crash Tuesday on the mainland near Petersburg.
The plane was a deHavilland Beaver, a single-engine aircraft owned by Pacific Wings of Petersburg with capacity for a pilot and six passengers. It was reported overdue Tuesday afternoon prompting a search by three commercial helicopters and a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Sitka.
Coast Guard spokesperson Grant DeVuyst says the crashed airplane was discovered Tuesday evening.
“The plane which had seven passengers onboard, we were able to locate them when the Coast Guard MH60 Jayhawk helicopter crew spotted one of the survivors. We were able to hoist all six of the surviving passengers. Unfortunately one of the passengers was deceased. Of course our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased passenger. Thankfully we were able to get the other six back to Petersburg, back to medical attention.”
The plane crashed on the mountainside near LeConte Bay, a glacial fjord on the mainland east of Petersburg. Due to the steep terrain and late hour, rescuers did not recover the body of the person killed in the crash Tuesday. The Coast Guard is working with the Alaska State Troopers to come up with a recovery plan. DeVuyst cites the plane’s emergency beacon in aiding the rescue.
“Fortunately this plane did have a working emergency locator transmitter onboard. That’s the only reason that we knew there was trouble and that’s the only reason we were able to really get on scene and find them, the six survivors.”
No word yet on the identity of the person killed in the crash. The survivors were taken to Petersburg Medical Center Tuesday night.
Pacific Wings is owned by Sunrise Aviation of Wrangell and offers flightseeing and air-taxi services around central Southeast.
This story has been updated to include additional details.
- The state is granting nearly $300,000 to improve water quality in some of Alaska's most damaged watersheds, including Juneau's orange-tinted Duck Creek.
- More than a third of all the penalties imposed since 1976 were logged last year.
- "You know, we're not talking about some smoky, old wood stove here. We’re talking about high-tech equipment," said Daniel Parrent, a program manager at the U.S. Forest Service.
- "Did you think that ganging together seven different taxes would make it more likely or less likely that any would pass?” asked Eagle River Republican Rep. Dan Saddler.