A pilot and passengers were were hurt in a plane crash in the Brooks Range on Sunday. National Transportation Safety Board Alaska Region chief Clint Johnson says the single engine Navion, operated by Kirst Aviation of Fairbanks went down in Atigun Pass, near mile 244 of the Dalton Highway.
“Four individuals on board, injuries ranged from serious to critical, and they were medevaced last night.”
Johnson says the crash was witnessed, and first responded to by Trans-Alaska Pipeline workers. Alaska State Troopers report that the Alyeska crew was able to get the injured pilot and passengers out of the wreckage and to a nearby airstrip for evacuation to a hospital. Johnson would not speculate on a cause of the crash.
“Whenever the pilot’s health allows, we want to be able to talk to him to get it first hand what exactly took place. However his injuries are probably not going to allow us to do that for probably the next couple of days.”
Johnson says the plane went down about 400 feet below the top of the 4,800-foot pass, close to the highway and pipeline. He says the pilot had filed a VFR flight plan to take the passengers from Fairbanks to Bettles, Deadhorse, Barter Island and back to Fairbanks.
“Preliminary information would indicate that they were cruise passengers. We don’t know exactly which cruise line they were from, but they were visitors, and we understand that they are from Canada,” Johnson says.
Johnson says the NTSB is working with the federal Aviation Administration in Fairbanks, and Troopers on the crash investigation.