Airplane crash in Alaska kills five

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Friday, August 17, 2007

A small airplane crashed yesterday in southeast Alaska, killing five and injuring four. Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said that among the survivors is a two-year-old girl. Ketchikan Public Safety Director Rich Leipfert told the Ketchikan Daily News that three of the injured were transported to hospitals.

Leipfert also said that the plane, belonging to SeaWind Aviation, crashed into a tree at Traitors Cove, an area about 25 miles north of Ketchikan. SeaWind Aviation's web site lists the aircraft as a deHavilland Beaver floatplane

Identifications of those killed or of those injured were not currently available. The bodies are to be recovered today due to inclement weather and darkness on Thursday.

The cause is under investigation. However, there were reportedly very high winds in the area at the time of the crash.

The aircraft involved in this accident is understood to be N345KA which was also involved in a crash in July 2000 whilst with a different owner. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report of the incident, the aircraft suffered substantial damage after its left wing struck a tree whilst attempting to take-off. The pilot, the only person on-board, was not injured. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was pilot error in inadequately compensating for the wind conditions.