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Wed Aug 11, 2021, 03:07 AM

Fatal Crash Renews Concerns About Safety of Alaska Aviation

A fatal crash involving a sightseeing flight near Ketchikan, Alaska, last week renewed concerns about aviation safety in a state that accounts for more deaths in small commercial aircraft crashes than anywhere else in the nation.

Six people — a pilot and five passengers — died Thursday when a de Havilland Beaver float plane went down eight miles northeast of the Southeast Alaska city of 8,000 that is a cruise ship hot spot. The passengers had been aboard the Holland America Line cruise ship the Nieuw Amsterdam, which only recently resumed operations in the state after a pause related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Transportation Safety Board has started an investigation. So far this year, 13 people have died in three fatal small commercial crashes, including the latest. The past year and a half has been particularly deadly for small commercial aviation despite COVID-19 limiting air travel. Last year, 15 people died in crashes involving such flights, the highest total since 2013, and this year has nearly equaled that figure with more than four months still left in the year.

The crashes are raising concerns.

“It’s very distressing to see yet another sightseeing accident occur,” said Robert Sumwalt, recently retired chairman of the NTSB, which released a final report this spring on a 2019 sightseeing plane crash in the same area. “I feel that this accident just shows there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/fatal-crash-renews-concerns-about-safety-of-alaska-aviation

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Reply Fatal Crash Renews Concerns About Safety of Alaska Aviation (Original post)
TexasTowelie Aug 2021 OP
hlthe2b Aug 2021 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Aug 11, 2021, 05:07 AM

1. NOW, they are concerned? AK has had immense numbers of small plane crashes for decades...

Given it is about the only way to practically get to some areas of the state, it seemed that many were accepting of the risk. It always seemed so sad to me. I guess now that it is sightseeing, rather than something more pressing, some look at it differently.

I've flown in my share of small planes, but some areas--with their very strong crosswinds--just freak me out.

I do hope they find a way to make it safer.

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