NTSB report: Plane struck lake before deadly Alaska crash

AP News
Posted: Sep 25, 2015 3:36 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A preliminary accident report says a floatplane that crashed in Alaska struck the surface of a lake after takeoff before going down, killing three of the 10 people on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the de Havilland DHC-3 turbine Otter took off in dark night conditions at about 6 a.m. Sept. 15 from East Wind Lake near the southwest Alaska town of Iliamna (ill-ee-AHM'-nuh). The plane crashed into tundra among trees.

NTSB Alaska chief Clint Johnson says rumors that the pilot was wearing night vision goggles are false. He says the plane was equipped with night vision technology, but it wasn't being used at the time.

Killed in the crash were tourists, 80-year-old Tony W. Degroot of Hanford, California; 70-year-old James P. Fletcher of Clovis, California; and 69-year-old James Specter of Shavertown, Pennsylvania.

Four others, including the pilot, sustained serious injuries, and two had minor injuries.


This story was corrected to clarify that all 10 on board were not tourists.