SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Two rescued from downed aircraft near Ketchikan


March 03, 2017
Friday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Friday morning at approximately 8:26 am, Ketchikan Flight Services of the Federal Aviation Administration, notified the Alaska State Troopers of an aircraft that was reported to be making an emergency landing and then lost radio contact.

Investigation by the Troopers revealed that the aircraft, a wheeled Beech G18S, twin engine, was traveling from Klawock to Ketchikan during a winter weather advisory. It was piloted by Steven Hewitt, age 68 of Seattle, Washington with passenger, Grant Hasting, age 23 of Auburn, Washington.

The aircraft missed the Ketchikan runaway due to weather and was circling back when it lost power to an engine. A short time later, Hewitt broadcast that he was going to attempt to make a beach landing at an unknown location and no further radio contact was made.

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers, United States Coast Guard, Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, Metlakatla Police Department, and Annette Island Search and Rescue were all notified and began searching. Tribal and local partners joined in the search.

Further investigation revealed that after they lost an engine, they lost altitude and the aircraft went into the water near Smugglers Cove, located south of Metlakatla just off Annette Island and sank. The Metlakatla Police and Fire Rescue boat crews were first to arrive on scene. At 9:45 am Friday, both Hewitt and Hasting swam approximately 200 yards to shore where they were found by Annette Island Search and Rescue and transported to the Metlakatla Clinic. and transported the two survivors to Metlakatla Clinic for medical care.

Both were treated for minor injuries and released.

“Metlakatla's quick response time was critical to locate the two survivors in a remote part of the island," said Petty Officer 1st Class Breanna Tessier, a Sector Juneau watchstander. “Mission success can be attributed to seamless communications through Federal, Tribal, State and local entities, and we are thankful for their assistance.”

According a USCG news release, Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report from the Federal Aviation Administration that the pilot of the BE18 Beechcraft missed the approach to the Ketchikan Airport due to icing on the airplane. The pilot diverted for an emergency landing on Annette Island but had to make an emergency landing in the water in Smuggler's Cove near Annette Island.

Sector Juneau watchstanders briefed the Alaska State Troopers and Annette Island Fire Department, and released an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to mariners. A Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Ketchikan and an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew were also directed to the scene.

The Station Ketchikan RB-M crew remained on scene to examine the crash site where the airplane sunk. Station Ketchikan will monitor the scene for potential pollution with Marine Safety Detachment Ketchikan personnel.

Weather on scene Friday morning was reported as 34-mph winds, six-foot seas and restricted visibility due to snowfall.


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:


Alaska Department of Public Safety



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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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