With an area twice the size of Texas with few roads between many towns and cities, Alaska’s residents rely heavily on air transportation to commute and move goods throughout the state. Air taxis and commuter planes serve as the main form of transportation to many villages in remote areas. Furthermore, the tourism industry also relies heavily on airplanes for both transportation and sightseeing. On any given day, you can look into the sky and see small planes dotting the skyline at all hours.
Unfortunately, with a higher than average number of aircraft in the sky each day, the risk of a plane crash also increases. While some plane crashes are minor with no injuries, many aviation accidents …show more content…
One-third of all air taxi and commuter plane crashes during that period occurred in Alaska. In the early 1990s, the average number of airplane crashes in Alaska was 130 to 140 accidents per year.
There are several factors that contribute to the high number of aviation accidents in Alaska. Weather conditions in Alaska make flying more dangerous. Pilots do not have sufficient weather data to make “critical go/no-go flight decisions.” Furthermore, pilots can lose control in low altitude situations — the typical flight pattern for tourist planes.
Another problem the Alaska aviation industry faces is confusion regarding the frequencies used for pilots to transmit locations and intentions to other pilots to avoid mid-air collision, especially in areas not managed by air traffic controllers. Other reasons for plane accidents in Alaska include pilot error, inadequate training, manufacturing mistakes, improper maintenance, and faulty …show more content…
The DeHavilland Beaver was taking off at the Rapids Camp Lodge in King Salmon when it failed to get airborne from the body of water near Mirror Lake. A few days before, two planes crashed in a collision at Wasilla Airport when both planes tried to land at the same time.
In April, four people were killed in a fiery plane crash in the heavily wooded area just north of Anchorage. The Cessna 172 crashed about 9 a.m. near Chugiak. After extensive investigations, it was determined that the plane went down after striking a bald eagle. Also in April, three people died and one person survived in an Alaska plane crash in the snowy, mountainous region of Admiralty Island. The Cessna was traveling from Wrangell to Angoon when it crashed. Preliminary reports say low clouds and poor visibility was the cause of the fatal plane crash.
What Can I Do To Avoid An Alaska Plane Crash?
How can you choose the right plane company for your transportation needs or your sightseeing adventure in Alaska? Are there safety precautions you can take to help avoid an Alaska plane crash? Below are tips from our Anchorage aviation attorneys.
Research Your Airline and/or Tour Group
When choosing an airline or tour group, you