KETCHIKAN, Alaska (KTUU) - The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Ketchikan to discuss the ongoing investigation into the deadly float plane crash that left at least four dead and two more missing Monday.
Jennifer Homendy, a board member with the NTSB, said there will be a team of 15 members on the investigation, and 11 are on scene now. Tuesday the team is heading to the accident site to observe and will have more information Wednesday, she said.
Homendy said preliminary data shows that the Taquan aircraft was traveling southwest inbound to Ketchikan, descending from 3,800 to between 3,200 and 3,300 feet at 149 miles per hour. The Mountain Air Service plane was traveling west-southwest inbound to Ketchikan, maintaining an altitude of about 3,300 feet at 125 MPH.
The two aircraft collided in midair at 12:21 p.m. on the west side of George Inlet.
Wednesday, the NTSB will begin conducting interviews, including with the surviving pilot of the Taquan plane, passengers on the plane, and witnesses, among others. They will also be gathering perishable evidence and requesting more information from those involved and others that are determined necessary, including; pilot logbooks, medical issues and training and qualifications of the pilots, and maintenance records for the aircraft.
The Board will also be sending a recovery team out Wednesday to begin recovering the wreckage.
Investigators will be on scene for five to seven days, but stress they will not be determining a probable cause within that time.
The NTSB is asking any witnesses or anyone with any valuable information such as photos or videos videos to contact the NTSB at Witness@NTSB.Gov