At Least Four Fatally Injured When Two Tour Planes Collided Near Ketchikan
The NTSB team on the ground in Ketchikan, AK held a news conference on Tuesday to provide details concerning the mid-air collision between two aerial tour aircraft on the west side of St. George Inlet Monday.
According to NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy (pictured), four people have been confirmed fatally injured in the accident, while two remained missing on Tuesday. There were a total of 14 passengers and two pilots aboard the two aircraft.
Homendy said that the aircraft Turbine Otter aircraft operated by Taquan Air carried 11 passengers and one pilot. The de Havilland Beaver owned and operated by Mountain Air Service was carrying four passengers and a pilot. “The Taquan plane was on a southwest heading inbound to Ketchikan. It descended from about 3,800 feet to between 3,200 and 3,300 feet at about 126 knots,” Homendy said. “The Mountain Air plane was on a west-southwest heading also inbound to Ketchikan maintaining an altitude of about 3,300 feet at 106 knots.
“The two planes converged between 3,200 and 3,300 feet on the west side of the St. George Inlet.”
Homendy stressed that this is preliminary information, and the NTSB has requested flight track data from the FAA. “We want to see if there were other planes operating in the area,” she said. “We want to match that data from information we hope to obtain from the Chelton Flight Information System which was on the Taquan airplane.”
Homendy said that the board will be conducting interviews with the surviving pilot of the Taquan airplane, as well as passengers, employees of the two air operators, and other pilots and witnesses.
The NTSB will be in Ketchikan for about five to seven days.
(Image from NTSB briefing video)
FMI: NTSB Briefing Video