Authorities release names of pilot and passenger in plane crash near Metlakatla

Authorities released the names of a pilot and passenger in a plane crash Friday morning near Metlakatla.

A wheeled, twin-engine Beech G-18 enroute from Klawock was trying to land at the Ketchikan airport about 8:30 a.m. Friday, Ketchikan Flight Service reported.

The pilot was Steven Hewitt of Seattle and Grant Hasting of Auburn, Wash., was the passenger.

The aircraft missed the Ketchikan runway on its first attempt and then lost power to one engine while circling back, according to Alaska State Troopers. Hewitt told air traffic control that he was going to attempt a beach landing, then radio communication was lost.

The plane went into the water near Smugglers Cove, south of Metlakatla just off of Annette Island, troopers reported. The plane sank, but the two men on board were able to swim the approximately 200 yards to shore. They were found by Annette Island Search and Rescue crews, and were taken to the Metlakatla clinic for treatment of minor injuries.

The weather in the Ketchikan area on Friday morning included heavy snow and strong winds.

Numerous agencies responded quickly, including Alaska State Troopers, Wildlife Troopers, U.S. Coast Guard, Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, Metlakatla Police Department and Annette Island Search and Rescue.

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