Crashed plane to be moved for investigation

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ANCHORAGE - The National Transportation Safety Board will move the airplane that crashed last week in Ketchikan, killing five, to somewhere more accessible for further investigation.

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The agency said Tuesday that an investigative team has completed the majority of the onsite portion of the investigation, including a cursory look at the plane wreckage.

But the agency said steep, heavily wooded terrain limited access, so the wreckage will be taken to a facility for detailed documentation.

The majority of the airplane, including the cockpit, was destroyed by fire, the agency said in a prepared statement.

The team will continue to examine pilot and maintenance logbook information, and a safety board survival factors specialist is traveling to Seattle to interview the survivors.

Four Oregon residents and a California man were killed Thursday night when the de Havilland Beaver DHC-2 float-equipped airplane, operated by Seawind Aviation, crashed about 20 miles north of Ketchikan. Four people survived the crash, which occurred as the plane was returning to Ketchikan, the NTSB said.

The NTSB said weather reports indicate there were several days of thunderstorms across the region, and the storms reportedly caused strong outflow winds and small hail.

Investigators are trying, among other things, to determine the plane's air speed and bank angles before the crash.

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