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Air Supply Alaska plane crashes; pilot uninjured

Posted: Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A cargo plane carrying groceries and other goods from Kenai to New Stuyahok crashed during its failed runway landing at the New Stuyahok Airport on Monday afternoon. The pilot, who was the only person on board, walked away from the wreckage uninjured.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
A Beech E18S-9700 from Air Supply Alaska taxis at Kenai Municipal Airport in 2007. The plane crashed on the runway at New Stuyahok on Monday.

The plane, a Beechcraft E-18S manufactured in 1959, belonged to Air Suppy Alaska, a small company based in Kenai that sells and transports food and supplies to remote Bush communities.

A company representative who refused to be identified would not discuss the crash.

"We're not talking about it with the paper or with anyone who's not the federal officials we have to file reports with," the representative said.

"It's a tragedy and we don't really feel like talking about it. We're just happy he (the pilot) is fine."

The National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the conditions surrounding the crash. Larry Lewis, the air safety field investigator in charge of the case, had already spoken with the pilot and the plane's mechanics to collect data and written statements.

"We're going to talk again -- a couple more times at least -- and take a look at the airplane," Lewis said. "It's my understanding there were no mechanical problems with the airplane. At face value it just appears there was a loss of control on landing and an encounter with terrain.

"We're going to determine whether the aircraft was sound, whether the conditions they were flying in were appropriate. We're going to look at the totality of the circumstances around the flight to see if we can come up with what we consider the probable cause of the accident."

The pilot remains unnamed, as it is the policy of both Air Supply Alaska and the National Transportation Safety Board to not release the name of pilots without his or her explicit permission.

Karen Garcia can be reached at karen.garcia@peninsulaclarion.com.



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