By Tim Rockey
BETHEL, Alaska (KTUU) – The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an emergency landing near the Bethel Airport on Saturday night. The Yute Commuter Service aircraft caught fire before making an emergency landing, but none of the six people on board were injured, according to NTSB Alaska Region Chief Clint Johnson.
Johnson said that the Cessna 207 departed Bethel with five passengers and one pilot, but was unable to determine where the Cessna was departing for.
“Shortly after departure from Bethel about 6 o’clock last evening that they got a smell of smoke, or started out as a smell of burning material followed by smoke in the cockpit. They turned it around, made an emergency landing at Bethel and got everybody off safely,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t destroyed, it was substantial damage.”
Johnson said that an investigation is currently underway to determine what caused the fire and subsequent emergency landing. Yute Commuter Service has not responded to requests for comment by the time of publication.