ANCHORAGE - A sightseeing plane with a pilot and four cruise ship passengers crashed into steep mountainous terrain Tuesday. There were no survivors, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
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The wreckage of the single-engine floatplane was spotted by aerial searchers in the area where an aircraft distress signal had been picked up, said Len Laurance, a spokesman for Taquan Air, the Ketchikan-based operator.
Coast Guard Lt. j.g. George Adams said Coast Guard helicopter crews at the heavily forested site were told by searchers at the scene that all aboard the de Havilland Beaver died.
Earlier reports put the plane at an elevation of 2,400 feet, but Adams said the wing portion was located higher than the fuselage, indicating that the aircraft slid down after impact.
The floatplane left Ketchikan shortly before 1:30 p.m. for a tour over Misty Fjords National Monument. It was reported missing after a Taquan dispatcher tried to contact the plane for 20 minutes without success, Laurance said.
The downed plane was found on land near the south arm of Rudyerd Bay, about 35 miles northeast of Ketchikan.
Authorities release names
by Greg Skinner / The Juneau Empire
Overnight State police released the names of the pilot and two East Coast
Couples killed in Tuesday's flight-seeing crash in Misty Fjords National
State police said the pilot of the Taquan Air DeHavilland Beaver was Joseph
Campbell, 56, of Ketchikan, passengers were William and Jeanne Eddy, both
age 59, from Jacksonville FL and Paul and Marianne McManus, age 60 and 56,
of Cherry Valley MA.
Police said the passengers were from the Sun Princess on the second day of a
seven day-cruise when the plane crashed.
Web Posted: July 25, 2007 7:00 a.m.
Beside the Coast Guard, mountaineers with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, Alaska State Troopers and helicopter crews hired by Taquan also responded to the scene.
The passengers on board were traveling on the Sun Princess, a 856-foot ship with Princess Cruises that was on the second day of a seven-day round-trip cruise from Seattle. The vessel left Ketchikan two hours after its scheduled departure of 4:30 p.m.
The names of the pilot and passengers were not immediately released.