ADN owner survives Halibut Cove plane crash

(Creative Commons photo by Matt’ Johnson)
(Creative Commons photo by Matt’ Johnson)

The owner of Alaska Dispatch News crashed her plane in Halibut Cove over the holiday weekend.

In a statement released through her attorney, Alice Rogoff confirms that she was involved in an aborted landing there Sunday. Rogoff says she is physically fine, but her Cessna 206 float plane was damaged.

Alaska State Troopers say the crash took place around 5:50 p.m. Wildlife Troopers responded to the scene in a vessel but did not have contact with Rogoff, according to a Trooper statement. When they got to the location of the crash, the pilot had been safely transported by a private party.

Troopers have turned the case over to the National Transportation Safety Board. Clint Johnson, Chief of the Alaska Regional NTSB Office, says witnesses report Rogoff hit a tree.

“We have not had a chance to interview the pilot, but what we have been led to believe by witnesses in the area is that this airplane was on approach to Halibut Cove, to the bay, to the saltwater bay, and it subsequently struck a tree then ended up crashing into the bay,” Johnson said. “One person on board, obviously the pilot, no injuries – substantial damage to the airplane was the result.”

A photo in the Homer News shows that the plane’s fuselage is mostly intact, but with the right wing folded at a 90-degree angle, the other wing bent, one float crumpled under the fuselage and the other float missing. Johnson, with the NTSB, says they hope to interview Rogoff later this week.

“The investigation is in the formative stages here, hopefully we will learn a little bit more once we have a chance to chat with the pilot and find out a little bit more from the pilot’s standpoint exactly what took place,” Johnson said.

In her statement, Rogoff thanks the people in Halibut Cove for their generosity and good spirits and says Clem Tillion’s 91st birthday party went on as planned and she was delighted to attend.

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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