NTSB begins recovering wreckage from Monday's fatal plane collision in Ketchikan

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (May 15, 2019) — NTSB investigator Clint Crookshanks and Member Jennifer Homendy near the site of some of the wreckage of the DHC-2 Beaver that was involved in a midair collision near Ketchikan, Alaska, on May 13, 2019. (NTSB Photo by Peter Knudson)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The National Transportation Safety Board held its second and last press briefing Wednesday afternoon to discuss its investigation into the fatal collision between two float planes in Ketchikan earlier this week.

The NTSB held a press conference on Tuesday, discussing the preliminary data of how fast and at what altitude the planes were flying.

Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB board member, said the team began recovering wreckage Wednesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Taquan Air plane had been recovered and put on a barge to be taken to a hangar in Ketchikan. Once in the hangar, the NTSB will begin putting together the structure of the aircraft. The Mountain Air plane is currently in the process of being put onto the barge as well.

Homendy says the Taquan Air plane was submerged in 75 feet of water, 50 feet from the shore. The other aircraft was upside down in the water on the opposite side of the inlet, with the floats visible, and lots of debris on the mountainside.

The NTSB began conducting interviews Wednesday morning with the parties involved. Homendy said so far, they had interviewed the Taquan Air pilot and passengers on the plane. The interviews will continue throughout the investigation.

Homendy added that throughout the investigation, the NTSB may decide to do a visibility study in both cockpits. This would determine what the pilots could see, and if there was anything that may have blocked their views in any way.

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