The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a small-plane accident in Katmai National Park and Preserve this week that left a passenger with a broken bone.
The Cessna 206, owned by Homer Flyout Fishing and Wildlife Adventures, was taking off from Mirror Lake after a bear viewing trip when it went down about 4:45 p.m. Monday, said Jim LaBelle, regional director for the National Transportation Safety Board in Alaska. The pilot told officials the aircraft had encountered winds gusting between 20 and 28 mph, he said.
"As he approached the shoreline, they had a severe downdraft that forced the airplane down onto the shoreline," he said. There were apparently no mechanical issues with the aircraft, he said.
Five people including the pilot were aboard, but only one was seriously injured, LaBelle said. That woman suffered a broken facial bone that was not life-threatening. She was treated and released, he said.
The aircraft had substantial damage to its floats and some to its right wing as well, LaBelle said.
The investigation was continuing.
Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589.