Three people died in the crash of a single-engine plane on Admiralty Island south of Juneau on Friday, according to Lance Ewers, a captain at Sitka Mountain Rescue. The only survivor, whom Alaska State Troopers identified as 21-year-old Morgan Enright of Ketchikan, was being flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment, according to a spokesman at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, where she was originally taken.
Troopers identified the victims as 60-year-old David Galla (the pilot), 61-year-old Greg Scheff and 57-year-old Thomas Siekawitch, all of Wrangell. Their families have been told of their deaths.
The Sunrise Aviation Cessna 206 had been flying from Wrangell to Angoon, Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert said. It crashed in a snowy, mountainous area at an elevation of about 2,300 feet on the southeast end of the Island, Eggert said.
Sometime before 10 a.m. Friday, the plane’s emergency beacon went off, said Eggert, who did not immediately know the exact timing of the crash.
When the beacon was activated, a commercial helicopter diverted its course and found the wreckage while the Coast Guard launched its own helicopter from Air Station Sitka.
The Coast Guard’s helicopter was unable to land due to the terrain, so it returned to Sitka to pick up members of the Sitka Mountain Rescue group. The helicopter returned to the crash site and lowered the rescuers to the ground, Eggert said.
“At this time we don’t have any indication as to what may have caused this crash,” Eggert said.
Lucy Robinson at Sunrise Aviation confirmed that the company owns the plane that crashed. She doesn’t work there but is helping field phone calls Friday because it's a family business, and said Sunrise isn’t commenting right now on the crash.
Corporate records show that the pilot, David Galla, was also a vice president of Sunrise Aviation.
National Transportation Safety Board region chief Clint Johnson said the agency would send two investigators to Juneau: Shaun Williams from Anchorage and Josh Cawthra from Seattle.
“We’ve been led to believe this airplane is in a very challenging area as far as the topography,” Johnson said.
Morgan Enright, the passenger who survived the crash, is an equipment operator at Ketchikan Ready-Mix and Quarry, according to manager Hope Burnette.
Enright was headed to Angoon to work on a ferry terminal project. She and other employees had flown there before, though Burnette did not know if any of the flights were direct like Friday’s. There were no other employees aboard the plane, Burnette said.
Morgan Enright is the daughter of Ketchikan Ready-Mix and Quarry’s owner Loren Enright.
“She’s a fabulous, happy person,” Burnette said. “She’s strong and we’re sure she’s going to be OK.”
Ewers, the rescue group captain, said it will take more time to remove the bodies of the three victims.
"We’ll be working into the night for certain, working with the Coast Guard and the troopers to get this situation resolved," said Ewers on Friday afternoon. "Looking like it’s going to be an extended recovery of the three folks who didn’t make it through the crash. We are preparing developing plans to go back to the scene tomorrow to get our team members home tonight. So we can get back in there and extract the other three."
Original article can be found here: http://www.adn.com
Alaska State Troopers have identified the three people killed in the plane crash as 60-year-old David Galla, 61-year-old Greg Scheff and 57-year-old Thomas Siekawitch. All three were from Wrangell.
According to troopers Galla was identified as the pilot of the plane. Efforts to recover all three bodies are ongoing, troopers wrote in a dispatch posted online.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Clint Johnson said the agency will be sending two investigators to respond to the crash. An Alaska-based investigator is scheduled to arrive in Juneau at around 7:15 p.m. A second investigator is being sent in from Seattle.
UPDATE 5:15 p.m.:
A 21-year-old woman was found alive at the site of today's small plane crash in Southeast Alaska, state troopers say. The three other people on board the Cessna 206 were killed.
Morgan Enright had been flying to the Tlingit village of Angoon to work on a ferry terminal project, her family told KTUU. Discovered at the crash site by the Sitka Mountain Rescue group, she was flown by helicopter to Kake and then to Juneau for treatment, said rescue group captain Lance Ewers.
“It’s just an amazing story of survival," Ewers said. "I do not know her medical status, condition. I do know that she’s alive."
The Cessna struck steep terrain on the south side of Admiralty Island.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be an extended recovery of the three folks that didn’t make it through the crash," he said.
Troopers have not publicly identified the deceased.
UPDATE: Ketchikan business asks for prayers as searchers look for survivors
The manager of a Ketchikan concrete contractor said the flight that crashed today on Admiralty Island was headed to Angoon. One of her family members is among the passengers, she said.
"She was headed to work. We're building a ferry terminal in Angoon," said Hope Burnette, of Ketchikan Ready Mix & Quarry. Burnette said Alaska State Troopers called to inform her about the crash.
Burnette did not know if the Cessna 206 was a charter or scheduled flight. She said she believes the flight originated in Wrangell. Others were on board, but she did not know their names.
Troopers did not know the condition of the pilot or passengers, she said.
The passenger's father and uncle were already in Angoon and had been waiting for the flight to arrive, Burnette said. "And it didn't come."
“We just wish for people to pray that everybody’s OK," she said. "Because at this point, that’s what we’re doing."
Wreckage of the plane has been spotted about 20 miles southeast of Angoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard, along with a commercial air crew and Sitka Mountain Rescue members are searching for survivors.
A Cessna 206 airplane believed to be carrying four people, crashed Friday morning in southern Admiralty Island, a Coast Guard spokesman tells KTUU.
The Coast Guard received an alert from the emergency beacon of the downed aircraft before 10 a.m. Friday, said Petty Officer First Class Shawn Eggert. The condition of the pilot and passengers was unknown as of about 1 p.m.
A private Temsco helicopter that had been flying in the area had diverted to search for the plane and found it about 20 miles southeast of Angoon, crashed at an elevation of 2,300 feet, Eggert said.
Angoon Mayor Albert Howard told KTUU that the plane was headed to his Southeast Alaska village.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Sitka flew to the area but was unable to land. The Coast Guard plans to fly members of Sitka Mountain Rescue and attempt to lower them to the crash site, to search for survivors, Eggert said.
The Juneau Empire reports that the aircraft is registered to Sunrise Aviation of Wrangell, based on information from a Coast Guard employee in Juneau.
A man who answered the phone at Sunrise Aviation said he did not know details of the flight, and more information would be available later today. "The people that know everything are all out in the air right now," he said.
Original article can be found here: http://www.ktuu.com
Troopers identified the three deceased as pilot David Galla, 60, and passengers Greg Scheff, 61, and Thomas Siekawitch, 57, all of Wrangell.
The extent of Enright’s injuries were immediately unknown.
According to troopers, at 10:22 a.m. Sunrise Aviation reported a Cessna 206 overdue. A short time later, the U.S. Coast Guard notified troopers of an aircraft Emergency Locator Transmitter going off in the vicinity of Admiralty Island.
According to the Coast Guard, the six-passenger Cessna was en route to Angoon from Wrangell when it crashed with four people on board on the southern end of Admiralty Island, about 20 miles south of Angoon.
A Temsco helicopter found the plane in steep terrain, troopers wrote in an online dispatch.
When rescuers found Enright, they were “flabbergasted,” according to Sitka Mountain Rescue captain Lance Ewers, who spoke with KTVA shortly after returning to Sitka Friday. He said they were searching for any sign of life.
“There was zero signs of life,” Ewers explained. “No movement whatsoever. When we finally got boots on the ground and started getting people in the airplane, is when we realized that there was a patient. That somebody had survived.”
According to Ewers, the plane was “torn apart” and had wrecked in waist deep snow.
“They recognized that one of the passengers in the plane was alive and then, of course, everything stopped because now priority is to the person who needs the medical attention,” Ewers said.
The Coast Guard also dispatched their MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka, but it was unable to land at the crash site because of weather, the Coast Guard said.
“They would have liked to have landed at the crash site to conduct that search, but because of the heavy snow that was still in the area, as well as the heavy winds, they had to return — to Sitka to deploy that mountain rescue team,” Eggert explained.
The recovery efforts of the three other passengers are ongoing.
The Sitka Mountain Rescue is expected to return to the crash site Saturday to recover the three bodies.
A NTSB investigator was expected to arrive at the crash site Friday afternoon.
Original article can be found here: http://www.ktva.com
The sole survivor of a plane crash on Admiralty Island will be transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Bartlett Regional Hospital representative Jim Strader said 21-year-old Morgan Enright’s condition was listed as “guarded” around 6:45 p.m.
A nursing supervisor said shortly before 9 p.m. that Enright was not yet at Harborview but that she was expected to arrive at some point in the night.
Update | 6:58 p.m.
The Alaska State Troopers have identified the victims of the plane crash in an online dispatch. All three are from Wrangell.
David Galla, 60
Greg Scheff, 61
Thomas Siekawitch, 57
Morgan Enright, 21, of Ketchikan, was identified as the sole surviving passenger. Earlier reports say she was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. Troopers do not know the extent of her injuries.
According to the troopers dispatch, next of kin have been notified and recovery efforts for the bodies of the deceased are ongoing.
Troopers say they received a report from Sunshine Aviation at around 10:22 a.m. that their Cessna 206 was overdue. Shortly after, troopers were notified by the U.S. Coast Guard that an emergency locater transmitter was going off near Admiralty Island.
A Temsco helicopter responded to the transmission and found the crash site in “steep terrain.” The Coast Guard also went to the site. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the crash and will investigate.
Update | 4:38 p.m.
Three are dead after a plane registered to a Wrangell-based charter airline crashed on Admiralty Island Friday.
Four people were traveling on a Sunrise Aviation Cessna 206 between Wrangell and Angoon. Only one female passenger survived, according Sitka Mountain Rescue Captain Lance Ewers.
The Coast Guard received an emergency alert in the morning indicating the aircraft was in distress.
A Coast Guard helicopter located the downed plane 20 miles southeast of Angoon, but was unable to land due to turbulent winds. Members of Sitka Mountain Rescue were called in. Ewers said the team was dropped off 600 yards below the wreckage, which is located in snowy, alpine terrain.
“To everyone’s disbelief, they found one of the four passengers was alive,” Ewers said. “Then they immediately started mounting an effort to get her out of the plane where they could insert her into the helicopter.
Ewers is helping guide the team remotely from Sitka. The female survivor is being medevaced to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. Her medical condition in unknown.
State business licensing documents for Sunrise Aviation identify two owners: Tyler Robinson and David Galla. Both are listed with Wrangell mailing addresses.
FAA records show that both men are licensed commercial pilots.
Update | 4:08 p.m.
Lance Ewers, captain of Sitka Mountain Rescue, confirmed that three passengers on the flight did not survive. One passenger is being medevaced to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.
A plane crashed on Admiralty Island Friday morning southeast of Angoon after departing from Wrangell. A search for survivors is underway.
The Coast Guard received a distress signal this morning, and a commercial aircraft located wreckage from a Cessna 206. The plane is registered to Sunrise Aviation, a charter flight company in Wrangell.
According to a Coast Guard news release, there were four passengers on board.
A Coast Guard helicopter was unable to land at the crash site, so a team from Sitka Mountain Rescue will conduct a ground search.
The flight was heading to Angoon.
Original article can be found here: http://www.ktoo.org
UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: Alaska State Troopers released the names of the people who died in today's plane crash on Admiralty Island. According to an online trooper dispatch, they are David Galla, 60, Greg Scheff, 61, and Thomas Siekawitch, 57.
Galla was the pilot, and troopers said Scheff and Siekawitch were the passengers.
All three men lived in Wrangell. Next of kin have been notified.
The crash's sole survivor Morgan Enright arrived at Bartlett Regional Hospital around 5:15 p.m. BRH spokesman Jim Strader said Enright is in "guarded" medical condition and the team is working to evaluate the extent of her injuries.
Three people are dead after a plane crashed into southern Admiralty Island this morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. One survivor is being airlifted to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, said Coast Guard rescue controller Nick Meyer out of Sector Juneau.
“Our helicopter landed in Kake and is transferring the survivor to a Guardian flight,” he said.
Alaska State Troopers have identified the survivor as Morgan Enright, 21, of Ketchikan. A Troopers news release said the extent of her injuries are unknown.
Enright is an equipment operator with Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry, said manager at Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry Hope Burnette earlier today.
“She was flying up to Angoon to work on the ferry terminal project,” she said.
The State of Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities is building a passenger facility at Angoon’s ferry terminal and is contracting with Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry on the project, said DOT spokesman Jeremy Woodrow.
Enright is the daughter of Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry owner Loren Enright, who owns the concrete and contracting business with his two brothers.
Burnette said Enright was in Wrangell and left on the Sunrise Aviation flight this morning and was due to arrive in Angoon around 10 a.m.
The body recovery efforts for the three deceased individuals are ongoing, according to the Troopers news release. Authorities have not yet released the names of the deceased.
The six-seat Cessna 206 crashed at an elevation of 2,300 feet near Pybus Bay on Admiralty Island.
A Coast Guard helicopter located the downed aircraft registered to Wrangell’s Sunrise Aviation around 11:25 a.m. but wasn’t able to get to it due to wind, Meyer said. The MH60 returned on scene at 2:20 p.m. with members of Sitka Mountain Rescue. Meyer described the terrain as “very steep.”
A helicopter from Temsco Helicopters located the Cessna first, but also wasn’t able to get to it, Meyer said.
The Cessna 206’s satellite beacon distress signal went off at 9:28 a.m. The Cessna 206 had departed Wrangell and was heading to Angoon, according to a Coast Guard news release.
One of the passengers on board the Cessna was 21-year-old Morgan Enright, Alaska Regional Chief for the National Transportation Safety Board Clint Johnson said two NTSB investigators are on their way to Juneau to begin investigation.
According to its website, Sunrise Aviation is a small, locally owned and operated air charter business owned by Dave Galla and Tyler Robinson, who are also pilots.
Original article can be found here: http://juneauempire.com
A plane registered to Sunrise Aviation, a Wrangell-based charter airline, crashed on Admiralty Island today (Friday).
Four people were traveling on the Cessna 206 between Wrangell and Angoon. Only one female passenger survived, said a search and rescue official.
The Coast Guard received an emergency alert in the morning, indicating the aircraft was in distress.
A Coast Guard helicopter located the downed plane, 20 miles southeast of Angoon, but was unable to land due to turbulent winds. Members of Sitka Mountain Rescue were called in to hike to the scene.
Capt. Lance Ewers said the team was dropped off 600 yards below the wreckage, which is located in snowy, alpine terrain.
“To everyone’s disbelief, they found one of the four passengers was alive. And then they immediately started mounting an effort to get her out of the plane where they could insert her into the helicopter,” he said.
Ewers is helping guide the team remotely from Sitka. The female survivor is being medevaced to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. Her medical condition in unknown at this time.
State business licensing documents for Sunrise Aviation identify two owners: Tyler Robinson and David Galla. Both are listed with Wrangell mailing addresses. FAA records show that both men are licensed commercial pilots.