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article imageAlaska plane crash caught on FAA weather cam

By Kim I. Hartman     Jan 9, 2011 in Travel
Kipnuk - An Era Alaska Cessna 208 crashed in the Alaskan village of Kipnuk this week and a Federal Aviation Administration weather cam captured the entire accident on film in a series of still photographs that were posted on YouTube.
The Cessna crash is the third aviation incident this week where a passenger plane has crashed and experienced damage at a small village airport, according to an Alaska Rural News blog.
The small aircraft was traveling from Bethel to Kipnuk and was operated by Hageland Aviation, said the Anchorage Daily News report.
There were no injuries reported among the five people on the commerical flight, which included an infant, according to AOL news. As a precautionary measure all five occupants of the plane were taken to a local clinic by villagers on snowmobiles.
Josh Cawthra, an aviation accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the Anchorage Daily News, "This is the first time in his career he’s been able to use photos of an accident caught by a weather camera during an investigation."
The FAA weather cam, which takes a picture every 10 minutes, shows the snowy scene moments before the plane appeared and then shows the aircraft taking a nose dive in the snow, followed by the arrival of approximately 30 villagers who heard the call for help. The rescuers included Jimmy Paul, tribal administrator for the village of Kipnuk, who told the Anchorage news, "I think it ran out of runway."
Cawthra said, “The pilot was landing on runway 33 at Kipnuk airport and for some reason exited the runway surface area.” Cawthra added, "He hopes to learn more after talking to the pilot, according to the news from Anchorage.
The crash occurred the day after Reuters reported: U.S. safety investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) want all private aircraft in Alaska to be inspected immediately to ensure that on-board transmitters that beam global positioning signals to crash rescuers are properly secured.
The NTSB recommendation was based on a report that found: The on-board transmitter broke off a plane that crashed last August claiming the life of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and three others. Rescuers were initially unable to find the site where the plane went down. The NTSB said this delayed attempts to locate the wreckage by five hours in that deadly crash.
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