Sightseeing Plane Crashes in Alaska Claiming Lives of Pilot and 5 Guests: ‘Hearts Are Shattered’

by Shelby Scott

The United States Coast Guard confirmed the deaths of six individuals Thursday after their plane crashed near the Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan.

According to the Associated Press, the pilot and passengers had been on a sightseeing expedition in southeast Alaska when the aircraft’s emergency alert sounded around 11:20 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard did not locate the wreckage or the bodies until 2:37 p.m. Thursday. People magazine said the Coast Guard sent a helicopter with a crew of two swimmers to the crash site. However, when they arrived, there were no survivors. As of Friday, the victims still have not been ID’d.

The plane’s owner, Southeast Aviation LLC, said in a statement recorded by AP, “Our hearts are shattered at the loss of six people today. We are thinking of and grieving with the families of the five passengers and our dear friend and pilot aboard the aircraft.”

While Outsider’s thoughts are with the six deceased’s loved ones, the crash is interesting. It raises questions as it’s not the only one of its kind to take place in the Ketchikan area. The Washington Post reported the death of nine people after a similar floatplane crashed into a cliff in 2015. Additionally, May 2019 saw the deaths of six more individuals when two planes slammed into each other, USA Today reported.

According to People, Thursday’s crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Alaska Saw Another Plane Crash in Katmai National Park Just Days Before

While investigators determine the cause of the most recent floatplane crash, an unnamed pond in Katmai National Park, AK saw the destruction of a Cessna 206. According to Anchorage Daily News, the crash was the result of the plane’s collision with the pond’s bank.

NTSB’s Clint Johnson said one passenger received minor injuries but did not specify what had exactly happened to the individual. Johnson further said the board did not know the nature of the flight yet. Though he did say that once they talk to the pilot in length, they hope to release more solid information.

Meanwhile, the plane’s owner, Branch River Air, claimed to be investigating the situation. However, they provided no additional commentary as to the plane’s crash. According to the news outlet, Branch River Air provides remote access to different areas of Bristol Bay and the Alaskan Peninsula.

Because these two crashes, both in the state of Alaska, occurred so close together, with a pattern of other floatplanes crashing and killing passengers, one has to consider looking into the making of the floatplanes and how safe they truly are.

Nevertheless, while the floatplanes are definitely attracting a lot of attention in the media with relatively frequent crashes, a private jet crash claimed the lives of three passengers in the Lake Tahoe area. The plan was that the jet would land at Truckee Tahoe Airport located in Northern California. However, instead, the plane struck the ground and sparked a small forest fire between two houses in the area.

What makes the crash strange is that the pilot suffered no restrictions invisibility and he has also been communicating his location to the control tower. Supposedly, one of the plane’s tires fell and wound up in one individual’s garage.