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Thread: Ted Stevens Accident

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    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    Question Ted Stevens Accident

    Has anyone heard any more details on the Ted Stevens accident than what the AP or Fox News is reporting? I wonder if "get home itis" go them? It's dang shame.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    On August 9, 2010, Stevens was involved in a plane crash,[10] along with former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, while en route to a private lodge. After conflicting initial reports as to the condition of the passengers,[11] a family spokesman confirmed in a statement that Stevens had died in the crash.[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Stevens

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    The aircraft is a 1957 De Havilland DHC-3T Otter registered to Anchorage-based General Communications Inc., a phone, Internet and cable company.
    Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said the plane took off at 2 p.m. Monday from a GCI corporate site on Lake Nerka, heading to the Agulowak Lodge on Lake Aleknagik.


    The plane crashed into a brush- and rock-covered mountainside sometime Monday night, authorities said. Volunteer pilots were dispatched to the area around 7 p.m. local time after the plane was found to be overdue at its destination, and they came upon the wreckage about a half hour later.
    The weather soon took a turn for the worse, with heavy fog, clouds and rain blanketing the area and making it impossible for rescuers to arrive until after daybreak Tuesday. O'Keefe, his son and two others were flown to the hospital.


    In a similar accident by another plane owned by GCI, an amphibious, float-equipped de Havilland plane flipped after landing on Lake Nerka in 2002. The pilot drowned and a passenger was injured. The plane was landing on the lake in front of the lodge when the accident occurred.
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    I am so deeply disappointed at the circumstances surrounding this needless accident. Single engine scud running in a sea plane in mountainous terrain never makes sense when the only reason is pleasure and fishing at a lodge.

    If this would have been a charter flight it would have been illegal. However, a company plane and pilot providing free transportation for guests to a remote company lodge makes this a legal but questionable flight.

    Controlled flight into terrain is pilot error plain and simple. I know this stuff goes on on a daily basis but this accident saddens me on a personal level.

    Ted Stevens was a hero to me personally. He placed me with an Anchorage family as an infant in 1964. He was an excellent lawyer prior to serving our country in the senate and crafted my private adoption. For that I will be forever grateful.

    Rest in peace Uncle Ted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I am so deeply disappointed at the circumstances surrounding this needless accident. Single engine scud running in a sea plane in mountainous terrain never makes sense when the only reason is pleasure and fishing at a lodge.

    If this would have been a charter flight it would have been illegal. However, a company plane and pilot providing free transportation for guests to a remote company lodge makes this a legal but questionable flight.

    Controlled flight into terrain is pilot error plain and simple. I know this stuff goes on on a daily basis but this accident saddens me on a personal level.

    Ted Stevens was a hero to me personally. He placed me with an Anchorage family as an infant in 1964. He was an excellent lawyer prior to serving our country in the senate and crafted my private adoption. For that I will be forever grateful.

    Rest in peace Uncle Ted.
    Glad to see you have the accident report done call the NTSB and let them know you already did their job and they can go home.
    Tim

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    Weather may not be the case in this situation.
    Just because the weather was too crappy for the search does not mean (at least by 100% ) that the weather during the last few minutes of the flight was terrible.


    The unrealistic need to get get back to the lodge, or to make a buck hauling bear viewers is going to continue to rack up deaths unless the pilots agree to stop doing it.

    During this horrible summer, I have been doing lots of maintenance down at a fogged in lake while the Beavers and Otters take of and land in less than 1/4 mile visibility. '
    We are within class E airspace right next to the airport so it is illegal as heck.
    And this stuff was 400 -600 ft thick.
    But they are hauling unsuspecting tourist at $500 a shot and need the money...So they are using their GPSs to make zero viz approaches onto semi-glassy water. It gets kinda scary when you are changing oil on the shore and one or two of them get sideways and just miss smacking into you...

    Of course any insurance they might have is null and void while violating the FARs.

    The NTSB and assorted folks are already posing for the camera in the safety of Anchorage. Their job is 75 percent done
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    And then you end up breaking more aircraft trying to rescue folks who are crashed in the bad weather...

    http://www.ktva.com/local/ci_15734624
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mit View Post
    Glad to see you have the accident report done call the NTSB and let them know you already did their job and they can go home.
    I may have spoke soon but the weather was crap and the accident was in the side of a mountain. They didn't use flight following or file a flight plan, last radar contact was near the lower Susitna at low level. Sorry if it offends you but I lost a friend in this accident and it bothers me.

    I know good a well that NTSB will do their work and it will take some time. No Maydays, Pan Pans or two way communication makes this a job for the engine shop.

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    Comments about the weather and the qualifications of the pilot by a guy in Phoenix? What a crock. You must have something better to gripe about. Maybe something you know about? The pilot of this flight was one of the most capable and qualified pilots on the planet. While I'm one hell of a lot closer to seeing the weather there than some yak in Arizona it would be inappropriate for me to say whether the pilot had the legally required 1 mile visibility while remaining clear of clouds. The bottom line is that while many will mourn Senator Stevens based on his position and reputation, many will mourn the gentleman who was piloting the plane because he was a tremendously popular and well-liked participant in aviation in Alaska. Every pilot I know knew Terry. Everyone who met him liked and respected him. Accidents happen. This one hurts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    The pilot of this flight was one of the most capable and qualified pilots on the planet. Every pilot I know knew Terry. Everyone who met him liked and respected him. Accidents happen. This one hurts.
    Amen to that. God Bless you and may you RIP Terry, and all the souls taken in this tragedy. I especially pray for the families durng this time of their great loss.

    I've seen the GCI planes many times during maintenance activities and they always had the best stuff and took care of it extremely well. When something like this happens to the best of pilots, with the best of equipment, it should at least serve as a real wake up call to the rest of us to double, triple, quadruple check our stuff and our plans. Hopefully guys like Terry and the others of his ilk who've gone before, will be watching over us and guiding our moves and judgements as we continue to partake of this most wonderful activity of flying in alaska which he so loved, and so many of us also love.

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    http://www.aolnews.com/nation/articl...5?ncid=webmail

    Mr Pid

    This yak in Arizona was born and raised in Alaska. I learned to fly in Alaska. I acquired my float rating in Alaska and I currently fly commercial operations year round in and out of Anchorage and other more challenging locations domestic and international.

    Frequent winter operations to cat II or III minimums with zero ceiling and 600 feet of forward viability at approach speeds that exceed the Otters maximum speed. I cut my teeth hauling freight in Beech 18's and Queen Airs, I have clue about scud running. I never said they were flying illegally.

    As you said, "this one Hurts", yes it does.

    I meant no disrespect about the pilot. I'm sure he was well qualified or he would not have been selected for this trip. I'm saddened for him and his family and friends as well. There are always circumstances that emerge after the fact. I have heard good things about GCI's aircraft and have relatives in Anchorage with personal knowledge. Even more reason to feel the way I do.

    I should have kept my mouth shut but emotions got the best of me, time will tell.

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/us/12pilot.html

    Terry was one of the best pilots in Alaska. His daughter recently lost her husband in the crash at Elemendorf.
    Horrible tragedy for their family.

    Marshall you should have kept your mouth shut as you mentioned.. Live and learn i reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I may have spoke soon but the weather was crap and the accident was in the side of a mountain. They didn't use flight following or file a flight plan, last radar contact was near the lower Susitna at low level. Sorry if it offends you but I lost a friend in this accident and it bothers me.

    I know good a well that NTSB will do their work and it will take some time. No Maydays, Pan Pans or two way communication makes this a job for the engine shop.
    a) A flight plan would not have expired until after this flight was located.
    b) Flight following? Out there?
    c) Last radar contact at the Big Su? That's a long, long way from where this airplane operated.
    d) may days or pan pans? Most of us were taught to manage cockpit emergencies with the three-step rule. Aviate, navigate, communicate. In that order. I suspect Mr. Smith had his hands full.

    You learned to fly up here? I'm sorry, but it doesn't show. Lots of us operate in areas and conditions typical of the crash area. In fact the 135 operator that found this wreck had been notified the Otter was overdue while he was inbound with revenue passengers whom he subsequently dropped off before he went and located the accident site while operating in legal conditions, although the weather was said to be dropping by that point. At the moment I prefer to agree with the articles that say Mr. Smith's flying abilities facilitated the survival of the 4 who lived.

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    It is way too early to have everyone get their skivvies in a twist. It will take weeks (if ever) to iron out the most likely cause.

    It will come down to the 3Ms


    1, Medical: Either a problem with the pilot or a passenger who interferes with the flight. Hey if 21 year old athletes can drop from a heart attack, anyone can.

    2. Mechanical: If there are 10,000 parts there are 10,000 things that can go wrong. Either through wear and tear, bird strike or sabotage.

    3. Meteorological: As of now, nobody knows what the weather was doing at the time except Terry. And he has moved on to his next assignment.
    Maybe somebody who survived might know, but if they were in the back of the plane they could not see what Terry did.

    What the weather was doing the next day, or even 30 minutes after the crash makes no difference. Although the NTSB is notorious for using it to pin blame on dead pilots. Any 135 pilot who calls in via radio or reports conditions during an investigation will always say they were above legal minimums. To do otherwise would be career suicide. What I tell Mr Pid over a beer, is not what I might say over a recorded FAA radio network.
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    Junkak,

    Well written link about Mr Smith. Well qualified to say the least and probably one of the guy's in the interview process that skipped over me back in 1993. The article discusses CFIT and hasn't raised the fury that it did when I said it.

    "Another possible suspect is “controlled flight into terrain,” meaning that a pilot, often trying to stay below clouds in an area of poor visibility, flies into the ground. General aviation — that is, noncommercial, nonmilitary flights, especially in propeller-driven single-engine planes at low altitude — are notoriously prone to this hazard."

    I have not pointed blame and won't. I simply made a comment under the stress of losing a friend.

    Mr. Pid,

    It is clear that you and I are emotional about the topic and don't agree. I am very familiar with aviate, navigate, communicate.

    Flight following is available if the aircraft would have operated VFR over the top or IFR into Dillingham were an approach to 500' and 1 mile was available. Remaining clear of the clouds to the destination would have been a possibility from there if the weather was adequate. The investigation will be thorough and people will either accept it or argue about the findings. Perhaps I'm wrong to assume that a million dollar Otter operated by a billion dollar corporation piloted by an experienced pilot would be IFR equipped.

    As far as radar contact near the Susitna goes... It was reported with a track depiction by CNN, take that for what it's worth. Regardless, it ended up about 17 miles from Dillingham. That is I why I referenced the approach requirements in Dillingham.

    My flying doesn't show? I moved on to a better position with a part 121 airline just as Mr. Smith did. I hope you have achieved your goals in aviation.

    Again, no disrespect was meant or intended by me at anytime in this thread. I simply spoke in anger over the loss of a friend. Keep in mind experienced pilots do crash, it is a sad reality.

    Chief Pilot's are not exempt from accidents. The Captain in the following link was the Chief Pilot for American.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...es_Flight_1420

    It will be interesting to hear what the survivors have to say, until then I'm bowing out.




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    I remember the old saying that was pretty common in my youth, "only fools and cheechakos predict the weather", and the same goes for prejudging what happened in plane crashes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I may have spoke soon but the weather was crap and the accident was in the side of a mountain. They didn't use flight following or file a flight plan, last radar contact was near the lower Susitna at low level. Sorry if it offends you but I lost a friend in this accident and it bothers me.

    I know good a well that NTSB will do their work and it will take some time. No Maydays, Pan Pans or two way communication makes this a job for the engine shop.
    Whoa! Isn't the lower Susitna around 400-miles from the crash site?

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    Yup.

    And being one who has flown into IMC conditions in a VERY VFR airplane in SW Alaska, even the best plans can go south in a hurry. This is wilderness country, no radar, no one to say Mayday to other than God. File a flight plan great, no communications unless you have a Sat phone. Climb up into the stuff and then not be able to get into DLG because the approach won't get you low enough and then where do you go? Depending on the wind, sometimes the lowest mins published don't make it the best approach available and not everybody knows that.

    Bless all those who have lost friends and family in this event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    a) A flight plan would not have expired until after this flight was located.
    b) Flight following? Out there?
    c) Last radar contact at the Big Su? That's a long, long way from where this airplane operated.
    d) may days or pan pans? Most of us were taught to manage cockpit emergencies with the three-step rule. Aviate, navigate, communicate. In that order. I suspect Mr. Smith had his hands full.

    You learned to fly up here? I'm sorry, but it doesn't show. Lots of us operate in areas and conditions typical of the crash area. In fact the 135 operator that found this wreck had been notified the Otter was overdue while he was inbound with revenue passengers whom he subsequently dropped off before he went and located the accident site while operating in legal conditions, although the weather was said to be dropping by that point. At the moment I prefer to agree with the articles that say Mr. Smith's flying abilities facilitated the survival of the 4 who lived.
    Hey, Mr.Pid, cut the poor guy some slack. After all, his Alaska time appears to be mostly in Beechcraft twins. I seriously doubt that he knows very much about bush conditions or bush flying at all. When he talks about CAT II or III, he's surely not talking about Cubs or Cessna singles. And clearly he doesn't know much about the Dillingham, Nushagak, Goodnews territory . . . . .

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    Does anyone have any idea why the Otter was flying at around 1,000' AGL when it could fly from Nerka to Alegnagik and on to Dillingham at an altitude of about five-feet? Pretty easy to follow an all-water route from Nerka on in to DLG, right Mr. Pid?

    I'm not finding fault with the pilot. Just wondering . . . . .

    As to Phoenix thinking of climbing into 500' over the top while banging around near the mountains - - - - - I'd hate to do it!

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