8 survive Anaktuvuk plane crash, all with serious injuries

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of a plane crash near Anaktuvuk Pass on Saturday. NTSB Air Safety Investigator Shawn Williams says a Cessna 208 operated by Wright Air Service that departed Fairbanks about Saturday morning was later reported down about 6 miles from the Anaktuvuk Airport.

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“A little after 1 p.m. NTSB was notified of an aircraft accident. There were eight people on board — seven passengers, plus the pilot. All sustained serious injuries. There were no fatalities.”

Williams says the injured were evacuated to Anchorage hospitals. He says the aircraft will be recovered this week as part of a crash investigation that will look at man, machine and environment.

“By man we’re going to look at the pilot — his 72-hour history, his training. By machine, we’re going to look at the aircraft — anything that could’ve been wrong with the airplane or how it was equipped. And the environment — that’s where we’re going to look at the winds, the weather, the terrain, the radar environment and every other aspect of this event.

Williams says the plane was travelling along a river valley at the time of Saturday’s accident, and that winds were calm and visibility about 6 miles, with a 4,000-ft. ceiling.