None of the five people on board an air taxi flight that made a forced landing near Tuluksak Wednesday afternoon were injured, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
NTSB investigator Chris Shaver says the Yute Air Cessna 207 was en route from Bethel to Tuluksak when its engine failed one to two miles short of Tuluksak’s airport, just before 4 p.m. Wednesday. Shaver says there weren’t any weather issues reported at the time.
“I believe the weather at the time was pretty favorable,” Shaver said.
Dan Knesek, Yute Air’s operations manager, credited the plane’s pilot with averting a crash.
“(The) pilot did an excellent job getting it on the ground safely and all the passengers taken care of,” Knesek said.
Shaver says villagers from Tuluksak went to the crash site and picked up the plane’s occupants. According to Knesek, everybody on board initially refused medical treatment but they were subsequently given “a clean bill of health” at the local clinic.
Knesek says a Federal Aviation Administration inspector headed to Bethel was still en route Thursday afternoon. A helicopter service contracted to recover the Cessna and bring it to Bethel was delayed by what he called “in and out” weather conditions, and it’s not clear whether the inspector will examine the plane in Bethel or visit it near Tuluksak.
Contact Chris Klint