HAL---Guests meet with disaster again in Kethcikan.

My gosh-----Here we go again, just trying to get the cruise business going again after the pandemic and the air taxi concerns in Southeast start killing them by the plane load as they did before. Two years ago they led the parade of driving insurance rates up here through the roof. Ketchikan business leaders ought to weigh in on flight safety and quit hoping the NTSB and the FAA will tackle the safety issue as they have tried to do in the past only to meet with gross failure.


Tags: Alaska - Inside Passage

10 Answers

HIYA KENN...been up there more than once..strictly amateur from the deck of a cruise ship.......watching those float planes (taxis) up there looks like a portable traffic jam, or accidents waiting to happen. Whether it was poor maintenance, or not paying attention, who knows. After awhile, they became part of the scenery...unfortunately, they carried "becoming part of the scenery" to an extreme.

Yes Yankee, more on this today now coming out, looks like another example of scud running. Low visibility and ceiling, aircraft trying to get passengers back to Ketchikan and their cruise ship. Apparently this wasn't a HAL sanctioned shore excursion though but a case where the 5 passengers went independent. Too early to predict what actually happened I know, but after a lifetime of being in the flying game up here all my life I believe I can be 99.5% certain as to what occurred. Nothing worse to be an aircraft operator and have a load run into a mountain with a loss to all crew and passengers. Been there done that more than once.


Here is the latest on the Ketchikan accident. ---------https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/aviation/2021/08/06/ntsb-team-heads-to-ketchikan-to-look-into-flightseeing-crash-that-killed-6/

Here is the latest on the Ketchikan accident. ---------https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/aviation/2021/08/06/ntsb-team-heads-to-ketchikan-to-look-into-flightseeing-crash-that-killed-6/

A sad day. The weather can be such a limiting factor. Thanks for sharing.

It is sad to hear something like this. However, I think it is a common thing over there.

You are right Masseba, not the first time I have heard of an tourist aviation crash up there (and other places). Be interesting to know how often this occurs per thousand flights and compare it to other activities that also have a chance to die issue. Could just be a media hype, could be an issue.

Awful news. I remember back in '18 o '19 there were 6 float plane accidents during the season. Weather with inexperienced pilots was a common factor. With tourism shut down for a year, guessing some of the float plane companies spent a lot of time on the ground and proficiency suffered.

Media hype or "shoot the messenger" by those who detest what a days happenings brings?

Actually, I have always been concerned over early reporting accuracy up here regarding aviation accidents. Matter of fact, the world over, as an accident of this nature draws a lot of attention, consequently readers/listeners tune into the utterances of every Tom, Dick and Harry who has a little bit of knowledge on the subject or the immediate accident. But after a few days of broad exposure, the media drops the subject, then, when the objective final reports come out a year or so later, reports which usually provide valuable insight into preventative measures, no one is interested anymore, including the hype types in the media or the public at large.

For someone truly interested in the aviation safety within Alaska, public records are replete with NTSB reviews, public hearings, warnings and recommendations. Sad for me to say, our (Alaska's) track record in this regard is far from stellar and it appears the public could care less.

A lot of historical reporting has dealt with Alaska unique dismal aircraft accident record---For instance:

"Fatal midair collisions involving commercial aircraft are practically unheard of in the rest of the country, but in Alaska, there have been five in the past five years alone. In each of them, at least one plane either lacked a key piece of optional safety equipment or wasn’t using it properly.

More broadly, in recent years Alaska has made up a growing share of the country’s crashes involving small commercial aircraft, according to an investigation by KUCB and ProPublica. In the past two decades, the number of deaths in crashes involving these operators has plummeted nationwide, while in Alaska, deaths have held relatively steady. As a result, Alaska’s share of fatalities in such crashes has increased from 26% in the early 2000s to 42% since 2016. Our analysis included crashes involving at least one plane or helicopter flying under the Federal Aviation Administration’s typical rules for commuter, air taxi or charter service. (The flight safety record of large air carriers is strong in both Alaska and nationally.)

Alaska’s increased share of aviation deaths can be attributed, at least in part, to its continued reliance on smaller operators, which have worse safety records than large airlines but appear to have waned in popularity outside the state, according to experts.

In interviews with KUCB and ProPublica, federal officials, lawyers and aviation safety experts said the FAA, which oversees air travel in the country, carries much of the responsibility for improving aviation safety in the state. Some say the agency has been slow to adopt rules and provide additional support for the unique conditions in Alaska, leaving pilots and customers to fend for themselves. Some critics also say the FAA has struggled to hold operators accountable for questionable safety track records."



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