Pilot, passenger killed in 2nd Alaska float plane crash in a week

by Kim Boateng Posted on May 21st, 2019

A pilot and a single passenger were killed after a float plane crashed in Alaska on Monday, the second such deadly incident in a week.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough spokeswoman Deanna Thomas confirmed in a statement a Taquan Beaver float plane went down in Metlatkatla Harbor at around 4 p.m., killing the two people on board.

“The circumstances of the crash are not being released at this time,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “The names of the deceased will not be released until next of kin have been notified.”

Thomas said Monday Good Samaritans were towing the downed Beaver plane to a beach until the aircraft could be secured.

Monday’s crash marks the second deadly incident involving a Taquan operated plane. Last week, six people were killed, including two Canadians, after a Taquan Air Beaver float plane collided with another float plane, about 23 kilometres from Metlatkatla Harbor.

As CTV News Vancouver reported, Ryan and Elsa Wilk, a married couple from Metro Vancouver, were among those on board the sightseeing excursion when the midair collision occurred.

According to the U.S. National Transportation Board, the latest crash was a commuter flight, not a sight-seeing chartered flight.

The U.S. agency has launched an investigation and has dispatched authorities to Anchorage Regional Office.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Alaska air carrier had voluntarily suspended operations as a result of Monday’s crash.

The FAA said the halt of sightseeing tours and commuter flights is in place until further notice.

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