1 dead, 5 injured in Tutka Bay floatplane crash, Troopers say

Alaska State Troopers are investigating a fatal floatplane crash Friday morning near Homer. Seven people were aboard the de Havilland Beaver plane. There was one reported fatality: 57-year-old Joseph Patenella of Maryland. 

Troopers spokesman Ken Marsh says medics responded to a report of a crash at around 10 a.m. near Tutka Bay. The Trooper patrol vessel Augustine carried injured passengers to Homer Harbor where all were transported to South Peninsula Hospital.

Initial reports from the Coast Guard say the plane aborted at takeoff and never left the water. 

The plane’s manifest included the deceased man’s wife and three children. South Peninsula Hospital spokeswoman Derotha Ferraro says the mother and two children were medevacked to Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. One child was treated and released. 

The pilot, identified as Engjell Berisha was also treated and released. The other passenger remains at South Peninsula Hospital and is in stable condition, according to Ferraro. 

Rust’s Flying Service, a charter company based in Anchorage, operated the plane.