Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescue 11 people after a float plane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island, July 10, 2018. All 11 people were taken to a staging area nearby for further transfer to Ketchikan. (U.S. Coast Guard | Courtesy Photo)

Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews rescue 11 people after a float plane crashed 39 miles south southwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island, July 10, 2018. All 11 people were taken to a staging area nearby for further transfer to Ketchikan. (U.S. Coast Guard | Courtesy Photo)

All 11 rescued from crashed plane on Prince of Wales

Passengers suffered only minor injuries, Coast Guard says

All 11 people aboard a plane that crashed Tuesday have been rescued in mountainous terrain on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska, officials said.

A Coast Guard helicopter located the crash site and hoisted the pilot and passengers to safety, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen said.

“This could have been bad,” she said. “Thankfully, it was a good outcome. Even though these people did sustain some injuries, we are very thankful that all are alive and that we were able to get to them quickly even with the weather conditions.”

The people were taken to a staging area with emergency personnel onsite. The Coast Guard, in a release, said all on board were reported to have received minor injuries but otherwise were in good condition. It provided no further detail on injuries.

“We had, I don’t know how many, but I think probably every ambulance in town” responded, said Chris John, an incident commander with the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Mischa Chernick, a spokeswoman for PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, said all 11 individuals from the plane were brought to the hospital and being assessed.

Hengen said there was roughly one-quarter mile of visibility as crews searched for the crash site about 40 miles southwest of Ketchikan. The downed aircraft had an emergency locator that aided rescue efforts.

The crash site was located at an elevation of about 2,000 feet on the side of a mountain. A photo distributed by the Coast Guard shows a white plane with blue trim on rocky terrain.

Clint Johnson of the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska said the plane was a float-equipped de Havilland Otter aircraft.

Taquan Air, which conducts scheduled flights and sightseeing services, said it was one of their flights.

The company said it had suspended all scheduled flights Tuesday and was cooperating with authorities. “It is imperative we understand the factors surrounding this incident to prevent similar ones,” the company said in a statement.

The company did not immediately respond to additional questions.

Alaska State Troopers identified the pilot at 72-year-old Mike Hodgins of Ketchikan. Troopers said he reported the crash.

The pilot was flying from Prince of Wales Island and bound for Ketchikan when the crash occurred, according to the Troopers.

The heavily forested Prince of Wales Island near the southern tip of the Alaska Panhandle is the fourth-largest island in the U.S. At 2,577 square miles, it’s larger than Delaware.

Prince of Wales Island is part of the Tongass National Forest and home to a handful of small communities. Residents can travel to Ketchikan by ferry or scheduled commuter flights.

More in News

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore docks in Juneau in October, 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for t​​he Week of Sept. 17

Here’s what to expect this week.

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV E-bike Roundup Saturday afternoon. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Capital city celebrates 10th annual Juneau EV and E-bike Roundup

Juneau’s electric vehicle growth among fastest in the country, organizers say.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, gives a live speech via video from Washington, D.C., to attendees at the annual Southeast Conference meeting in Sitka on Thursday. (Screenshot from video by Southeast Conference)
Murkowski, Sullivan warn of domestic, foreign threats to Southeast Alaska’s economy

Issues from Russian seafood imports to ferry funding cited by senators during Southeast Conference.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This is a photo of Juneau International Airport. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Email threat to Alaska airports doesn’t appear credible, police say

Heightened presence of officers at Juneau airport planned Friday.

A 2023 municipal election ballot is placed in the drop box at Douglas Library/Fire Hall Community Building. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Number of residents registered to vote ‘nearly identical’ to last year

More than 1,100 ballots counted so far during this municipal election.

Samantha Crain, of the Choctaw Nation, sings to the crowd during a performance Thursday night as part of the Áak’w Rock music festival at Centennial Hall. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
‘It’s pure resiliency’: Áak’w Rock kicks off

The three-day Indigenous music festival attracts full crowds during its first night.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, walks down a hallway Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
With Alaska’s federal judge vacancy nearing 2-year mark, Sullivan breaks from nomination tradition

Murkowski appears skeptical about the switch, saying she’s prepared to advance nominees to Biden

Jordan Creek flows over a portion of a footbridge behind a shopping center Thursday evening. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Jordan Creek, Montana Creek and Auke Lake until 10 a.m. Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Flood warning for Jordan Creek, Montana Creek and Auke Lake issued until 10 a.m. Friday

Glacier Highway, structures near Jordan Creek may inundated, according to National Weather Service.

Most Read