NTSB investigating Era plane's altitude loss

Associated PressSeptember 6, 2012 

Federal officials are investigating an Era Alaska flight that dropped about 5,000 feet on Wednesday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson tells KTUU the de Havilland Canada DHC-8 was en route from Anchorage to Homer. The plane was flying at about 12,000 feet when it dove to about 7,000 feet . The pilot regained control of the twin-engine turboprop, and it returned to Anchorage after declaring an emergency.

Johnson tells The Associated Press that flight data and cockpit voice recorders are en route to Washington, D.C., and should be examined Friday. Findings will help determine the course of the investigation.

Era spokesman Steve Smith says there were 11 passengers and three crew members on board. Flight 874 left Anchorage at 10:29 a.m. and returned at 10:59 a.m.

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