Alaska Plane Crash Raises Questions of Small Plane Safety
Nine people traveling on an excursion plane from a Holland American Line cruise ship died on Thursday after their plane crashed in Alaska, police and the aircraft company confirmed. The plane went down during a tour of the Misty Fjords region of southern Alaska. The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed, but the National Weather Service said that conditions at the nearby Ketchikan International Airport were overcast and rainy at the time.
Eight passengers and a pilot were on board the plane. The 8 passengers had been traveling on a cruise ship that departed from Seattle on Saturday for a seven-day round trip, the cruise line confirmed in a statement. The Promech Air excursion flight was sold through Holland America Line, a unit of Carnival Corp. Promech’s sightseeing flights around the Misty Fjords National Monument offer views of “towering granite cliffs, 1,000-foot waterfalls, lush and remote valleys and serene crystalline lakes,” its website says.
In July 2013, four people on a similar Promech-owned plane were injured after the aircraft suffered engine failure and crashed into trees on a nearby Island, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.
An October 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office found that the highest incidence of fatal accidents in general aviation occur on small, single-engine piston airplanes after pilots lose control of the aircrafts. Bad weather and poor pilot training are the most common contributing factors during a crash.
This report includes material from The Christian Science Monitor Reuters and the Associated Press.