5 dead, 10 hospitalized after midair collision over Alaska

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  • "The U.S. Coast Guard and local search and rescue teams have confirmed that nine (9) of the guests on the Taquan Air plane have been rescued and are receiving medical attention with the condition of one (1) guest still unknown, the statement continued. "It has also been confirmed there are five (5) fatalities from the independent air tour - four (4) Royal Princess guests and one (1) pilot. Princess Cruises has activated members of its Care Team to provide assistance to the families impacted by today’s accident."
    KitsapGuy
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  • That is awful. Not really fair to speculate since we don't have the full details but as a sight-seeing operation, it's easy to assume there was some level of distraction by the pilot(s) which may have caused this sad event.
    Aros
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  • A lot of these Pilots are flying by wire, really no traffic control, just Navigation. Especially out in areas that are remote such as where they were. Sad Story really, something went wrong when two pilots could not see each other. Alaska Bush pilots are some of the most skilled in the world.
    chris98251
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  • chris98251 wrote:Alaska Bush pilots are some of the most skilled in the world.


    100%.
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  • The cause of the crash in relatively good weather, high overcast skies with light southeast winds was not known. The crash occurred about 8 miles (13 kilometers) from Ketchikan, near George Inlet. The planes came down about a mile and a half apart with some of the debris field on land.
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  • Because of the weather (or lacktherof given it's Alaska we are talking about) is why I think somebody was distracted showing passengers the sights. I am sure the pilots were very skilled but they are also human. No matter the cause it's a tragedy for all those affected.
    Aros
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  • This was absolutely horrible. We were in Ketchikan on Monday, and I went on a Taquan Air floatplane trip to Misty Fjords that morning. I wondered what all the sirens were for when I got back to our cruise ship (MS Volendam) which was docked right next to Royal Princess. Heard the dreadful news not long after I reboarded the ship.

    The weather was absolutely perfect – hardly a cloud in the sky and very little wind; very unusual there. There’s no air traffic control over the floatplanes, but our pilot was fantastic, and Alaskan bush pilots are indeed extremely skilled.
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  • Wow you were right there Aussie...Certainly glad it wasn't you on those fateful float planes!

    I heard the collision took place at 3,300 feet. Ugh. It's great there were 10 survivors for certain but I feel for the families of those who were killed. :(
    Aros
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  • Aussie Seahawk wrote:This was absolutely horrible. We were in Ketchikan on Monday, and I went on a Taquan Air floatplane trip to Misty Fjords that morning. I wondered what all the sirens were for when I got back to our cruise ship (MS Volendam) which was docked right next to Royal Princess. Heard the dreadful news not long after I reboarded the ship.

    The weather was absolutely perfect – hardly a cloud in the sky and very little wind; very unusual there. There’s no air traffic control over the floatplanes, but our pilot was fantastic, and Alaskan bush pilots are indeed extremely skilled.


    Glad to hear you are safe. When I heard an Australian was among the victims I immediately thought about you.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    Aussie Seahawk wrote:This was absolutely horrible. We were in Ketchikan on Monday, and I went on a Taquan Air floatplane trip to Misty Fjords that morning. I wondered what all the sirens were for when I got back to our cruise ship (MS Volendam) which was docked right next to Royal Princess. Heard the dreadful news not long after I reboarded the ship.

    The weather was absolutely perfect – hardly a cloud in the sky and very little wind; very unusual there. There’s no air traffic control over the floatplanes, but our pilot was fantastic, and Alaskan bush pilots are indeed extremely skilled.


    Glad to hear you are safe. When I heard an Australian was among the victims I immediately thought about you.

    So much this. Glad you are safe Aussie.
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  • THANK YOU, kh and SH! We were shaken about the tragic accident on our ship, and I can't begin to imagine how awful it is for loved ones of the people who perished, and it would have cast a dreadful pall on the passengers on Royal Princess.

    I will learn how to put video on Youtube eventually, and I'll put content I filmed of my (absolutely mindblowing) floatplane flight up there, after a respectful interval. Our son, who is currently in prison until early June, was very relieved when he could finally contact us today, as we had no phone access on the cruise, and he of course has no internet access.

    We’re back in Vancouver BC for two nights now, and then we have a week in NYC before the long haul home.
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  • Bad week for aviation in Alaska. :cry:



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  • We loaded this boat the day the departed, very sad.
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  • Aviation UPDATE Taquan Air 2nd Fatal Crash in a week. Ketchikan, Alaska


    Investigation of Taquan Air and it's practices should see further review and attention.

    The current ongoing global pilot shortage and slippage in pilot experience and skill is a known concern .... affecting not only charter operations but major airlines as well. We'll have to wait and see if it was a factor or not in these two recent charter accidents.
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  • Aros wrote:That is awful. Not really fair to speculate since we don't have the full details but as a sight-seeing operation, it's easy to assume there was some level of distraction by the pilot(s) which may have caused this sad event.



    "The Taquan Air pilot involved in a deadly midair collision near Ketchikan last week descended to show his 10 passengers a waterfall before he saw a flash to the left and the planes slammed together, according to the National Transportation Safety Board." >>> https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/aviation/2019/05/22/ntsb-pilot-saw-flash-from-his-left-side-before-midair-collision-near-ketchikan-that-killed-6/


    So if the reports are accurate, the unidentified Taquan Air pilot overtook the Mountain Air Service float plane at a closing speed of about 25 to 30 MPH after descending from above and approaching from approximately 30 degrees off to the right of trail. Pilot / Owner Randy Sullivan and all four Mountain Air Service passengers never had a chance as the Taquan Air propeller chewed up their right wing and demolished their air frame. Today, the Mountain Air Service family is no more.

    Taquan Air has had been plagued by accidents. Three major accidents since July of 2018. Taquan Air and it's culture have much to answer for. Suspension of all passenger flights is clearly warranted. The competence of CEO Brien Salazar is now an open question.

    Condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives and best wishes to all who are facing the long road to recovery.
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  • I still feel I dodged a bullet in Ketchikan. I haven't checked, but the waterfall mentioned (if the same) was a VERY close flyby in the Taquan Air Turbo Otter I was in on May 13. It was an amazing flight (NOT for folks who don't like a small-plane experience, flying very close to terrain), but I've only just recently (very awkwardly) watched the video footage I took of my flight. Our pilot was wonderful - he absolutely had eyes on stalks, but in aviation, a few milliseconds of inattention is a potential disaster.

    And I see the death toll is now 6, after another body was recovered. Just got home to Adelaide yesterday, way behind on news... my heart goes out to loved ones of the victims.

    I can't even imagine the terror inflicted on the folks who survived, and I would NOT want to be the Taquan Air pilot who allegedly caused the crash.
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  • Glad you enjoyed your flight and all is well.

    Under visual flight rules, a limiting factor is the human eye and it's depth of field limits as it focuses on a specific object at a specific focal length. Both foreground and background are fuzzy outside of a focal length sweet spot. Shooters, using manual cameras or open sight firearms are very familiar with the limits of visual depth of field. The flash the surviving pilot reported suggests, to me, that visual focal length* was likely a contributing factor. (Human Factors)

    Below are concerns the National Transportation Safety Board is actively exploring as it more urgently addresses Ketchikan airspace.

    A-17-042Open—Acceptable ResponseTO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Analyze automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast data from Ketchikan air tour oper-ations on an ongoing basis and meet annually with Ketchikan air tour operators to engage in a nonpunitive discussion of any operational hazards reflected in the data and collaborate on mitigation strategies for any hazards identified.

    A-17-043Open—Acceptable ResponseTO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Develop and imple-ment special operating rules for the Ketchikan air tour industry that include en route visual flight rules weather minimums that are tailored to the industry’s unique requirements and are more conservative than those specified in Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135.

    A-18-013Open—Acceptable ResponseTO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Although controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)-avoidance training programs are not required by federal regulation for Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 fixed-wing operations, work with Part 135 operators in Alaska to im-prove any voluntarily implemented training programs aimed at reduc-ing the risk of CFIT accidents involving continuation of flight under vi-sual flight rules (VFR) into instrument meteorological conditions, with special attention paid to the human factors issues identified in recent Alaska accident investigations, including, but not limited to, (1) the challenges of flying in mountainous terrain in Alaska and low-altitude VFR flight in an area subject to rapid changes in weather; and (2) lim-itations of the Alaska infrastructure, particularly weather observations, communications, and navigation aids.

    A-18-014Open—Acceptable ResponseTO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Work with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 certificate holders that operate under visual flight rules in the aircraft’s required terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) class to (1) ensure that management and pi-lots are aware of the risks associated with distraction (from continu-ous nuisance alerts) and complacency (brought about by routine use of the terrain inhibit feature); (2) develop plans for mitigating those risks and minimizing nuisance alerts; and (3) develop procedures that specifically address when pilots should test, inhibit, and uninhibit the TAWS alerts, considering the operator’s typical operations and the TAWS manufacturer’s guidance


    EDIT: *I neglected to tie in effects on peripheral vision and it's narrowing into a soda straw effect as the eye focuses on more distant objects. That seems likely to have been a companion factor.
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  • Horrible. Any word as to the cause?
    Aros
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  • The skydiving plane that crashed and burst into flames in Hawaii on Friday night, killing 11 people, had been involved in an earlier mishap in Northern California in which it reportedly stalled and spun out of control.

    Citing an investigative report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the Associated Press reports that the Beechcraft 65 King Air stalled three times and spun out before the pilot managed to land it in the earlier incident. Fourteen skydivers who were on board at the time had jumped earlier than planned to get to safety.

    That incident was blamed on pilot error, with investigators determining that a piece of horizontal stabilizer was missing and that the elevator had broken off.

    Three years after that incident, investigators have begun sifting through the charred wreckage of the same aircraft after it suffered what is believed to be the worst U.S. civil aviation accident since 2011.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/nine-dead ... ahu-hawaii
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  • Image

    HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a fatal plane crash in Hawaii (all times local):

    4:05 p.m. (6/22)

    An eyewitness to the crash of a plane carrying sky divers in Hawaii saw the plane take flight, get 75 feet (23 meters) to 100 feet (30 meters) off the ground and turn away from the mountain range nearby.

    Steven Tickemyer says the plane started to nosedive, then flip over belly forward so that it was upside down. The aircraft then flipped over again and hit the ground nose first. He says there was an explosion when it hit the ground.
    https://apnews.com/54de10c7aea8465f9d37a3ec4acdfb40

    Not much left for thru NTSB to sift thru.Image

    Sounds like (speculation) not enough altitude to maneuver ...... likely aggravated by an unrecoverable load shift.
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  • Looks like your classic stall and spin after takeoff which the best pilot in the world can't recover from without adequate altitude. If this plane indeed showed issues in the past with mechanical/control surface problems then that's a major red flag. Poor families.
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