A preliminary report says the pilot in in a deadly Alaska crash turned his sightseeing plane to avoid rising terrain and slammed into the side of a mountain.
The pilot said weather conditions, however, had deteriorated throughout the day.
Clint Johnson is the Chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s regional office in Alaska…
Johnson: “The investigator in charge, Bryce Banning, did have a chance to talk, at length, with the pilot and that’s basically what the told us. He also said that there were no mechanical issues he was able to detect before the accident. However, we are still in the preliminary stages of the accident investigation. When Bryce was on scene at the accident site, he was not able to finish the wreckage exam, primarily due to the topography, the location was in a very very precarious location. So all that said, we’re waiting for the airplane to be recovered back to Petersburg, and Bryce will return back to Petersburg to continue the investigation.”
Johnson says they’re waiting for the operator and the operator’s insurance company to formulate a plan to get the wreckage out of there, which will be quite a challenge.
He says they’ll be dealing with heavily forested areas containing trees in excess of 100 feet tall and very steep terrain.
Hopefully they’ll get that done in the next few weeks, according to Johnson.
Everything’s still in the very preliminary stages, Johnson says.