Alaska Dispatch News owner Alice Rogoff survived a floatplane crash Sunday in Halibut Cove on the Kenai Peninsula. Rogoff, who was piloting the plane when it was attempting to land around 5:50 p.m. Sunday, did not suffer any injuries, she said in a statement.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded by boat to the crash and found that Rogoff was the only occupant and that she had left the scene before troopers arrived. Rogoff was safely transported by a private party, troopers said, and the incident has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to a statement released through her attorney, Brent Cole, Rogoff “is physically fine.”
“Fortunately she was not hurt and wants to thank all the people in Halibut Cove for their generosity and good spirits,” Cole said in the statement. “Clem Tillion’s 91st birthday party went on as planned and Ms. Rogoff was delighted to attend.”
Tillion is a former Alaska state senator.
Rogoff said she crashed her Cessna 206 after an aborted landing. A photo of the crash shows the plane on the beach of Ismailof Island, where the community of Halibut Cove is located. The plane’s fuselage is mostly intact but the right wing folded at a 90-degree angle. The other wing was bent, one float crumpled under the fuselage and the other float was missing.
NTSB investigator Clinton Johnson said Monday the NTSB had been notified of the crash around 10 p.m. Sunday. Johnson said it was reported that the Cessna hit a tree before landing in the water.
“Thankfully, there were no injuries,” he said.
Johnson told the Associated Press on Tuesday the agency had not spoken to Rogoff yet.
“We’re in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” he told the AP. “We hope to glean a little bit more information once we talk to the pilot.”
The NTSB will release a preliminary report in about a week. The plane was removed by helicopter from the Halibut Cove beach.
Cole said the cause of the accident has not yet been determined and Rogoff is working with authorities to determine what happened.
Halibut Cove, with a population of 72, lies within Kachemak Bay State Park. It is 125 miles southwest of Anchorage and 12 miles by water taxi across Kachemak Bay from Homer.
Rogoff is the wife of financier David Rubenstein and a former chief financial officer of U.S. News and World Report. In 2009 she became majority owner of the Alaska Dispatch, an online newspaper.
Its parent company purchased the Anchorage Daily News from The McClatchy Co. for $34 million in 2014 and the name was changed to Alaska Dispatch News.
• The Associated Press contributed to this report. Michael Armstrong is a reporter for the Homer News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.