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#188814 - 11/21/09 08:44 AM All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing
Cjoi Offline

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 24
Loc: N Cal
Although I love reading at ETS, always carry my DR PSK, this is a rare attempt to post. Tried to search to be certain it's not a duplicate, and hope it's in the right place.

In any event, I read the article at the link below, thinking what a lucky and skillful pilot they had. Thoughts about how they could have been a bit better prepared also kept crossing my mind. If you were to take an air taxi in Alaska, how would you prepare? What would you take along to tip the odds of survival in your favor?

Not a likely trip for me, but that doesn't mean I haven't spent a good amount of time looking over DR's exquisite equipment layouts for pilots. Never can tell when a lotto win might lead to a trip to Alaska... good to have some ideas, you know?

BTW, thanks to all for the information and insight I've gained here over the last several years.


Anchorage Daily News
All passengers safe after air taxi's emergency landing
Published: November 19th, 2009 02:13 PM

. . . The Cessna lifted off for the roughly 85-mile trip. Everything seemed fine until Amos, the pilot, started checking something on one of the instruments, . . .

. . . The pilot would later tell the NTSB the plane began losing oil pressure at 4,500 feet and he tried to change course for Tuntutuliak, Johnson said. . . .

. . . flying from Bethel to their hometown of Kipnuk, four miles from the Bering Sea coast. The plane made it about halfway, going down roughly 15 miles from Tuntutuliak, where a rescue team scrambled to haul the passengers and pilot to safety on snowmachines. . . .

. . . Now the airline, Bethel-based Yute Air, and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking to find out what went wrong. . . .

Hope I did this right...

BTW - X-Ray Dave, hope all is good with you, sir.


Edited by Cjoi (11/21/09 08:47 AM)

#188818 - 11/21/09 12:16 PM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Cjoi]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
You missed the part about it being "maybe 10 below zero". But that was a good landing and overall a successful rescue. Nice.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#188822 - 11/21/09 02:03 PM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Russ]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
Tower knows where you are which is a start so a RSK + a few ranger bands & a candle for signaling and firelighting. Can we presume that the pilot has an axe and rest of the required safety gear aboard but passengers cannot carry sharps?
I don't do dumb & helpless.

#188824 - 11/21/09 02:38 PM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
yelp Offline

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 172
Loc: Colorado
As of the early 2000's, only 60%-70% of Alaska had radar coverage. Where you're flying in and out of may not have a tower (Bethel yes, Kipnuk no, Tuntutuliak I doubt it). It's a safe presumption that the pilot does have required survival gear aboard; it's not safe to presume a certain level of quality. Unless you're flying a major carrier (e.g., Alaska Air) out of Anchorage or Fairbanks, passengers are allowed to keep sharp and pokey things on their person.

I approach this challenge by upping the EDC a little bit: a couple more lighters, nalgene with nesting cup, a couple of trauma pads, AMK bivy sack, jacket with enough pockets to hold the extra, etc...everything that's been talked about to death here and on other forums.

One thing to keep in mind - if a flight goes down in AK, there's a good chance there won't be anything to make a fire out of except parts of the wreckage and / or your clothes ;), even during the summer. Yelling for help is imperative. A PLB, sat phone, and GPS should be in the mix as well.

(posting this as someone that has unintentionally done a bunch of stupid stuff in the past and will again...)

#188829 - 11/21/09 05:39 PM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Leigh_Ratcliffe]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Not tower but close enough --
. . .Amos told dispatchers to put a helicopter in the air right away. . .
He probably gave his dispatchers a GPS position -- every pilot I fly with has a personal GPS as well as whatever POS GPS is installed in the aircraft.

Small commuter like the Cessna 207 they probably don't even check for sharps. Survival gear is required, not optional.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#188833 - 11/21/09 06:05 PM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Russ]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Believe it or not, Bethel is where I did my month back in April! Yes, they have a tower, and a long enough runway that Alaska Air makes 3 trips a day in/out of Bethel.

For radar coverage...Tunt... no way, neither would Kipnuk. I think Tunt is bigger too. But, Bethel does house some of the Cold War ICBM radars, and some weather radars, so maybe their coverage is better?

Anyway, since I was in Bethel, I made a pack for my medivac flights I did. shown in this thread:

Welcome to Bethel!

Probably analagous to what Kipnuk had for a runway; this is a different village, but you get the gist of how difficult it is to land.

And here's Bethel from the air. This is the "big city" in that area! This is about 1/2 the city, you can see the airport in upper left, this was on the approach pathway.

Edited by MDinana (11/21/09 06:06 PM)

#188872 - 11/22/09 02:16 AM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: MDinana]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Don't you love it when there are people who know what to do and do it?

"Dock, who made it into Kipnuk on Thursday, still has questions. Like why didn't troopers send a rescue helicopter considering there were infants on the plane?"

His pilot brought the plane down like an ace, no injuries, plane was intact so they had some shelter (at least from the wind), rescuers on the way, rescuers knew what to do, even the babies made it back fine, so why is he complaining???

You don't have to send out the Army if the locals are taking care of the problem.


#188873 - 11/22/09 03:12 AM Re: All AK Cessna Passengers Safe After Emer Landing [Re: Susan]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
In line with Susan, I don't recall seeing choppers at Bethel. Their areomedical service is fixed-wing only. The chopper is actually Air Force out of Anchorage, which would be roughly 2 hours away.

That whole area is flat tundra - essentially a big swampy area in summer - and "snow-go's" are everywhere, hunting, fishing, etc during the year. 15 miles is nothing to these guys - we had a patient's family drive something like 6 hours by snow mobile to avoid the fee for a plane. They're hardcore Eskimo's up that way.


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