Alaska Commuter Air Carrier Suffered Operational, Training Flaws Before Crash

Handout photo of a Cessna 208 that crashed in southwest AlaskaAn Alaska commuter airline routinely failed to inform pilots of shifting weather conditions and other hazards leading up to a 2013 crash in western Alaska that killed four people, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Friday.

The Cessna 208B, a single-engine turboprop, had been heading from Bethel to Mountain Village in deteriorating winter weather and crashed about a mile (1.6 km) southeast of St. Mary’s Airport in southwestern Alaska. The pilot and three passengers were killed, and six passengers survived with serious injuries.

Prior to the crash, Hageland Aviation Services Inc had failed to follow its own risk assessment plan, and on the day the plane went down the flight coordinators on duty had not been trained properly in those procedures, according to NTSB crash investigation documents released on Thursday.

“The hardest thing is to get this company to police itself,” Dale Hansen, a Federal Aviation Administration manager in Anchorage, told NTSB investigators. “If we’re not there to watch them, you know, we’re not really sure half the time if they’re doing it right.”

The airline, operated at the time as Era Alaska, which is now called Ravn Alaska, also failed to routinely inform pilots of weather conditions and other possible hazards, the preliminary report found. (Read more from “Alaska Commuter Air Carrier Suffered Operational, Training Flaws Before Crash” HERE)

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