Rescuers Unable To Reach Crash Survivors


Military rescue aircraft were orbiting the site of a plane crash on a remote Alaska mountain ridge Sunday, unable to reach the downed sightseeing aircraft and its five occupants because of bad weather. The pilot of a de Havilland Beaver operated by K2 Aviation reported the crash Saturday about 6 p.m. on his satellite phone and the ELT also triggered. Before the phone signal was lost, the pilot reported there were injuries among those aboard but the call failed before he could report the details. An Air National Guard HC-130 responded and an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and rescue crew are on standby but the site is solidly socked in.

The Beaver left Talkeetna just after 5 p.m. for the sightseeing flight and went down on the “knife edge” of Thunder Mountain, a mile-long ridge in Denali National Park at almost 11,000 feet. “The plane is reportedly equipped with an emergency survival kit including sleeping bags, a stove and pot to boil water, food supplies, first aid kit and other items,” National Park Service spokeswoman Katherine Belcher told local media.