Alaska Floatplane Cruise Excursion Death (see video below) Cases Added – The six people who died during a Princesss Cruises cruise ship Royal Princess excursion on George Inlet near Ketchikan, Alaska have been identified.
The excursion resulted in a mid-air collision between a de Havilland Beaver, operated by Mountain Air Service, and a de Havilland Otter, operated by Taquan Air on Monday, May 13, 2018. Those who have died and been identified and are now included in the Cruise Ship Deaths database.
They include a South African immigrant to Canada, her American husband, her brother who was also from South Africa and a family friend from Missouri. In addition, a passenger from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia was also killed along with the Mountain Air Service pilot.
What We Know About Crash
The mid-air collision took place at 3,300 feet. The Taquan Otter had descended about 500 feet just before they collided. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash and a report will be filled.
Mountain Air Service
Mountain Air Service website states, “Explore the depths of the South East Alaskan wilderness, gorgeous scenery & remote destinations only accessible by float plane.”
All Mountain Air Service “operations have been canceled”. The company took down its web site following the crash. The Princess passengers who flew on Mountain Air Service had booked their flights independently of Princess. Those who died aboard include:
- Cassandra Webb, 62, from St. Louis, Missouri
- Elsa Wilk, 37, from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
- Louis Botha, 46, from San Diego, California
- Ryan Wilk, 39, from Salt Lake City, Utah
- Simon Bodie, 56, from Tempe, New South Wales, Australia
- Randy Sullivan, 46, from Ketchikan, Alaska (pilot)
Taquan Air is the operating name for Venture Travel, LLC, an American regional airline headquartered in Ketchikan, a city in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Alaska. It operates domestic scheduled passenger and charter services.
Taquan Air suspended all flights after Monday’s crash and canceled any flightseeing excursions. On Wednesday, Taquan resumed scheduled and chartered flights. It resumed flightseeing tours for direct-booked and third-party-booked customers on Thursday.
The 10 people rescued from the crash were taken to a hospital in Ketchikan. Four patients with broken bones were later transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. Three survivors were released from PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center on Tuesday. Hospital spokeswoman Marty West said the remaining three are in fair condition.
National Transportation Safety Board
The NTSB aviation accident database contains information from 1962 and later about civil aviation accidents and selected incidentswithin the United States, its territories and possessions, and in international waters. Generally, a preliminary report is available online within a few days of an accident.
Factual information is added when available, and when the investigation is completed, the preliminary report is replaced with a final description of the accident and its probable cause. Full narrative descriptions may not be available for dates before 1993, cases under revision, or where NTSB did not have primary investigative responsibility.
A search of a National Transportation Safety Board database found that Taquan Air has been involved in five other aircraft accidents in Alaska since 1992, two of which were fatal.
The most recent crash involving Taquan Air, prior to Monday’s collision, happened on July 10, 2018 about 9 miles west of Hydaburg. An Otter operated by Taquan was carrying 10 passengers and a pilot. The pilot told NTSB investigators that visibility decreased rapidly and he became disoriented when he tried to turn around, then crashed into snow-covered mountains. While six passengers had serious injuries, everyone on board survived.
- Royal Princess Cruise Ship Tracker
- Alaska Cruise Port Schedules
- Seattle Cruise Port Schedule
- Cruise Ship Deaths – 2019
- Taquan Air Alaska Website
- Mountain Air Service Website
- National Transportation Safety Board -Aviation Database
- Cruise Ship Weather – Alaska Radar
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Video:NTSB press conference on Alaska plane crash