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Two rescued by national guard from plane crash near Tustumena Lake

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Courtesy Of David Wartinbee
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Tustamena Lake, near Kasilof, was the site of a plane crash on Wednesday.

The Alaska National Guard rescued two passengers from a Super Cub plane that crashed near Tustumena Lake on July 27.

One of the passengers was injured and one was not, according to a press release from the National Guard. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time pending investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board of Alaska.

Dave Bedard, a spokesperson for the Alaska National Guard, says the crash triggered the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter, which sent a signal to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. Bedard says the pilot also had a satellite communication device, which allowed him to text rescue coordinators and describe the crash.

Bedard says the proximity of the crash to the guard’s base would have usually allowed a Pave Hawk helicopter to make the rescue and return without refueling. However, a second plane crash rescue operation near Chakachamna Lake, about 90 miles west of Anchorage near Lake Clark, also occurred immediately after. Bedard says on the way to the second crash, the helicopter was able to refuel midair and drop off the two Tustumena crash passengers at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

“Fortunately, weather was really good on the day of the rescue," Bedard said. "So it was pretty straightforward, and on both occasions the helicopter was able to land without using its hoist and they were able to go out and get the plane occupants onto the helicopter for evacuation.”

The single occupant of the second plane was uninjured and was released to the Anchorage Police Department, according to the National Guard.

The Alaska National Guard is not able to release health information, including the condition of the injured passengers.

You can find the original story here.

Riley Board is a Report For America corps member covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula for KDLL. A recent graduate of Middlebury College, where she studied linguistics, English literature and German, Board was editor-in-chief of The Middlebury Campus, the student newspaper, and completed work as a Kellogg Fellow, doing independent linguistics research. She has interned at the Burlington Free Press, covering the early days of the pandemic’s effects on Vermont communities, and at Smithsonian Institution’s Folklife, where she wrote about culture and folklife in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Board hails from Sarasota, Florida.
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