Alaska sightseeing plane crash kills six

Aug 6, 2021: According to the United States Coast Guard, a tourist plane crashed in southeastern Alaska, killing all six people on board.

The Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane’s emergency alert beacon was activated Thursday at 11:20 a.m. local time as it crashed in the Misty Fjords National Monument area near the town of Ketchikan, Alaska.

A helicopter company reported wreckage on a ridge line in the search area, and Coast Guard crew members found the wreckage around 2:40 p.m. The Alaska State Troopers said in a statement that “poor visibility and bad weather hampered aerial search efforts for part of the afternoon.”

The plane involved in Thursday’s crash, a de Havilland Beaver, was owned by Southeast Aviation LLC.

The agency said a Coast Guard helicopter landed two rescue swimmers at the scene, but did not report any survivors. The identities of those killed in the Alaska crash were not immediately released.

 Weather conditions were a cloud ceiling of 274.32 metres with mist and light rain. Visibility was 3.22km and winds were 12.87kph (8mph), the coastguard said.

“Today we are heartbroken at the loss of six people. We are thinking of the family of five passengers and our dear friend and pilot aboard the plane and are saddened,” the company said in a statement.

“We are already collaborating with respondents and agencies, including the US Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Alaska State Troopers.”

Five passengers on the flight were from the Netherlands-US line cruise ship New Amsterdam, the company said in a statement. The cruise stopped at Ketchikan Alaska on Thursday and was delayed in the afternoon after the plane crashed. The company said it was providing consulting services to guests and staff.

“The float plane excursion was offered by an independent tour operator and not sold by Holland America Line,” the statement said.

Kechikan is a popular stop for cruise ships bound for Alaska, and cruise passengers can make a variety of sightseeing trips while in port.

Among them is the famous Misty Fjords, a small plane ride to the National Monument of Alaska, where visitors can see glacier valleys, snow-capped peaks and lakes in a deserted area.

In 2019, two tourist sightseeing planes collided, killing six of the 16 people on board the aircraft.

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