Focus Turns to Investigation in Deadly Alaska Mid-air Crash

At Least 6 Missing After Two Planes Crash in Alaska- Reports                Sputnik  Tatiana Lukianova

A pilot who died in the fatal collision of two sightseeing sea planes in Alaska has been identified.

Princess Cruises says the ship departed Ketchikan approximately 3.5 hours late and was scheduled to arrive in Juneau at approximately 9 a.m.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian citizen who died in Alaska", Guillaume Bérubé, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, said in a statement Tuesday.

One of the planes, a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver on an independent tour, had four guests on board, plus a pilot.

Rescue crews from the Coast Guard and partner agencies were searching for survivors. That group was returning from a flightseeing tour of Misty Fjords when the crash occurred, Taquan said.

The National Transportation Board was sending an elite investigative team from Washington DC, to investigate the crash, another deadly mishap for cruise ship passengers taking side excursions off cruise ships in Ketchikan.

"The Australian unfortunately is one of the people confirmed deceased", US Coast Guard lieutenant Brian Dykens told AAP.

Both planes were carrying guests from Royal Princess, which is now sailing a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise, which departed Vancouver on Saturday, May 11 for Anchorage, Alaska.

Ten people were rescued and suffered injuries ranging from "arm fractures to ribs to spine to leg", hospital spokesperson Susan Gregg told the Daily News.

According to Princess Cruises, one plane operated by Taquan Air was flying a shore excursion sold through its cruise company. Three patients are listed in serious condition, seven are in fair condition, Chernick said.

Eleven people were inside Taquan Air's single-engine de Havilland Otter DHC-3 when it went down.

The Coast Guard says 10 people were rescued after small boats and a helicopter were dispatched to the crash site.

"We are devastated by today's incident and our hearts go out to our passengers and their families", a statement from flight operators Taquan Air said. In Ketchikan Medical Center, three are in good condition and three have been discharged.

They will also be requesting information from parties involved and looking at pilot log books, the training and qualifications of the pilots, any possible medical issues, whether flight plans were filed with the companies or FAA, maintenance records for the aircrafts as well as each company's operating procedures and whether those procedures were followed, she said. Taquan Air purchased the assets of Promech a year after the crash, and now employs three pilots who worked for Promech, a company spokeswoman said.

United States transport authorities are set to investigate the cause of the crash.



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