SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Coast Guard Rescues Pilot After Plane Crashes Near Ketchikan


August 17, 2016
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew rescued a pilot after his float plane crashed approximately 26 miles west of Ketchikan, Alaska, Monday night.

Simply Bella Gifts - Ketchikan, Alaska

Creekside Family Health Clinic - Ketchikan, Alaska

The Sitka helicopter crew located the plane wreckage on the shoreline of a lake on Prince of Wales Island. The sole occupant and pilot of a privately owned 1956 Piper Pacer was located alive by a responding USCG helicopter from Sitka. Thomas J. McIntire, age 30 of Ketchikan received minor injuries during a late aborted take-off attempt when the aircraft struck the rocky shoreline causing the onboard ELT to activate.

The helicopter crew hoisted McIntire and transported him to Ketchikan airport where he was met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel. No serious injuries were reported.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) beacon for a single Piper Tri-Pacer float plane - aircraft number N6072D alert. Coast Guard watchstanders immediately contacted the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Service Station staff in Ketchikan who stated they last communicated with the pilot at 5:15 p.m. but had lost contact shortly after. A Sitka helicopter crew was launched to search.

The location of the beacon was determined to be coming from the Clover Lake area approximately 22 miles west of Ketchikan on Prince of Wales Island.

“EPIRBs and ELTs are absolutely invaluable during emergencies because they instantly alert responders to your distress, provide a precise GPS location and give a description of your aircraft or vessel when they’re properly registered,” said Lt. Kailee Everteze, Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center command duty officer. "We cannot stress enough that having the proper safety equipment can be the difference between living and dying.”

The weather on scene at the time of the medevac was reported as 3 mph winds, with 10 mile visibility.

The aircraft suffered damage to the floats and propeller.

The National Transportation Safety Board was notified.


On the Web:

View a Video of the USCG rescue - Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker, U.S. Coast Guard District 17



Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Public Safety



Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


Submit A Letter to SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2016
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.