Two Serious Injuries In Anchorage Seaplane Crash (Video)

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Two people aboard a Regal Air Beaver floatplane were seriously injured when the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from Lake Hood, near Anchorage, Alaska’s main airport on Tuesday, July 26. Five others aboard the aircraft escaped injury and were able to swim clear of the wreckage. The aircraft came to rest nose down in about five feet of water. Lake Hood is a busy seaplane base that’s immediately adjacent to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.

In a video sent to us by reader Jim Gilbertoni, the Beaver is shown departing one of two water runways at Lake Hood, climbing slowly before nosing over back into the lake in what appears to be a stall. The aircraft was en route to Katmai National Park, about 290 miles southwest of Anchorage, according to an AP report.

Airport Police and Fire Chief Aaron Danielson told the AP that the pilot reported that a gust of wind struck the aircraft during takeoff and he was trying to correct when the aircraft crashed into the water. The pilot and passengers egressed on their own, but nearby bystanders jumped into the water to help.

Credit: Jim Gilbertoni

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24 COMMENTS

  1. “the pilot reported that a gust of wind struck the aircraft during takeoff and he was trying to correct when the aircraft crashed into the water” Sorry buddy, it was all on video. You got slow, stalled, entered an incipient spin, and hit the ground. And you’re incredibly lucky to be alive, as are your pax.

    • Once airborne, turning circles won’t make any difference. You don’t know the way the wind is blowing, neither does your aircraft. A rapid change, of course, can get you.
      But in this case, it was captain stupid.

  2. Obviously, they should check the weight since an overloaded situation as well as weight and balance issues must have contributed. Based upon the video the pilot was in a low speed climbing turn, and asking for a stall situation. With a heavily loaded plane he probably should have executed a WW II loaded bomber take off. Very lucky folks to have survived.

  3. I’ve flow that southeast takeoff many times out of lake hood in a 206 under varying wind conditions. Aborted several takeoffs for various reasons. When taking off southeast heavy with a strong south wind you have to get in ground effect and let the speed build. You also have to get lined up in a turning takoff with the east channel. You also have to maintain a crab into the wind, get to 3-400ft then turn back north.

  4. I don’t know about any obstacles in his flight path, but it looked like he still could have salvaged that takeoff
    after that turn if he would have just got down on the deck in ground/water effect to get some sorely needed speed up.

  5. Lots of premature condemnation by folks it seems to me. While those observations MAY be correct…. there are possibilities which may exist… such as Flight Control problems, shifting cargo, (I once had a passenger use the yoke to pull herself forward in-flight…lucky I got her to release it before things went too badly)….. my point being… let’s give the guy a needed break before we condemn his piloting skills, at LEAST until we hear from the investigation, heh?

    • I’m fairly certain that if there were flight control problems or passenger interference the pilot would have immediately blamed that instead of tacitly admitting fault, which is what you do by saying you were trying to correct for weather that by all rights you should have taken into account before departure. It’s pretty clear there’s too much AOA from the video even if airspeed is tough to judge in video. Even when the winds are nice and steady it costs you nothing to give yourself a little extra margin in case of a gust instead of maneuvering and attempting to climb aggressively.