11 rescued from plane crash on POW
By MARY KAUFFMAN
July 10, 2018
(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Eleven (11) people were rescued today after a floatplane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island. The USCG announced the 11 were rescued by two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews. According to the USCG District 17 FaceBook page, the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad assisted with the rescue with six Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad helicopters with emergency medical personnel standing by to assist the USCG once the people were located.
Quoting a news release, the Jayhawk crews arrived on scene at approximately noon to search for the plane, and were able to locate the [Taquan] plane and safely hoist all 11 people from the side of a mountain, approximately 2,000 feet in elevation. According to USCG FaceBook update at 2:00 PM, the Jayhawk crew then took them to a staging area established by Temsco Helicopters Inc., for further transfer to Ketchikan by Temsco helicopters.
All were reported to have minor injuries, but otherwise in good condition. According to the USCG District 17 Facebook page, those whose injuries needed immediate medical treatment, a contracted helicopter transported them directly to the Ketchikan Medical Center
At approximately 11 AM, the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a call from the pilot of a Dehaviland DHC-3 aircraft stating that the plane crashed on Prince of Wales Island, on the west side of Mount Jumbo. Sector Juneau watchstanders quickly directed the launch of two Jayhawk helicopter crews.
“I am proud of everyone involved in this rescue and that we were able to get all 11 people to safety in a timely manner,” said Cmdr. Michael Kahle, Coast Guard Sector Juneau search and rescue mission coordinator. “Cases like these exemplify the versatility of our aircrews and how capable they are to expertly perform rescues from the ocean or even mountainsides.”
Weather at the time of the incident was approximately two-mile visibility, three miles of ceiling, broken clouds at 1,200 feet, overcast at 1,700 feet and 58 degrees.
Update 07/11/18 - The Alaska State Troopers identified the Taquan Air pilot as Mike Hudgins, 72 of Ketchikan.
According to the AST, a report was received at 8:30 AM Tuesday by the AST from the pilot that the plane had crashed at the 2000' level on a mountain near the West Arm of Cholmondeley Sound.
Hudgins was flying from Steamboat Bay on Prince of Wales Island to Ketchikan at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) and Coast Guard were notified of the downed plane.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, the NTSB Alaska chief reported the pilot of the floatplane, a former Navy and commercial pilot, reported seeing the side of a mountain rising ahead of him, then tried to do an emergency climb - and the plane, slowed by the sudden climb, dropped.
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