SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Downed Aircraft in Cook Inlet Recovered, Search Continues For Pilot


January 09, 2007

(SitNews) - Responders to the downed Cessna aircraft today have located the plane about two and a one half miles offshore in northern Redoubt Bay at about 1:41 p.m. The plane has been recovered but the pilot, Randy Crawford, was not aboard.

The automated aircraft ELT activated and was located by the on scene search aircraft. The plane was submerged in the water up to the tail section.  

The aircraft was recovered by the tank vessel Seabulk Nevada that was transiting Cook Inlet and responded to the Coast Guard Urgent Information Broadcast (UMIB). They visually confirmed the tail number of the aircraft and recovered the plane. The vessel hooked up their crane to the tail section and hoisted it on board intact. Once the plane was dewatered and secured to the deck they confirmed that the pilot was not on board.

A search is continuing for the pilot utilizing the Air National Guard HH-60 helicopter and C-130 fixed wing aircraft for about an hour before being relieved by a Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Kodiak.

The Coast Guard Command Center in Anchorage received the report of a possible downed aircraft from the Kenai Police Department at about 10:55 a.m. today. The plane was en route from Kenai to Kokhimak when the pilot radioed the Kenai air traffic control tower to report engine problems. Shortly after the call the tower personnel lost contact with the plane. The pilot is the only person reported aboard.

After receiving the report this morning, the Coast Guard launched an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak. Two Alaska State Trooper aircraft were launched and an Air National Guard helicopter from Anchorage responded. They were reportedly on the scene in 45 - 90 minutes. The Kenai Fire Department readied divers in case they are needed.

The weather conditions on scene were reported this afternoon as clear with light winds and an air temperature of -13 degrees Fahrenheit.


Source of News:

United States Coast Guard

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Ketchikan, Alaska