The National Transportation Safety Board says pieces of an air taxi that crashed in Soldotna earlier this month, killing 10, have been sent to Washington D.C. and Phoenix for analysis as investigators try to pinpoint the cause of Alaska's deadliest aviation accident in more than a decade.
A team of the federal investigators left Alaska Monday after a week spent combing through wreckage at the scene, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss from Washington D.C. Wednesday.
The agency won't release any new information about their investigation until a preliminary crash report comes out, probably in the next 10 days, he said.
On July 7 pilot Walter "Willie" Rediske was flying nine passengers from South Carolina to a bear-viewing lodge when his deHavilland DHC-3 Otter crashed on takeoff at Soldotna Municipal Airport, killing everyone onboard, the NTSB has said.
The plane's engine was sent to its manufacturer, Honeywell, according to Weiss. The agency routinely sends airplane parts back to their makers after a crash, Weiss said.
"(The manufacturers) are most familiar with the workings (of the engine)," he said.
The company will report findings to the NTSB.
The crash killed Rediske and two vacationing families from Greenville, South Carolina: Milton and Kimberly Antonakos and their children, Olivia, 16, Mills, 14, and Anastacia, 11, and Dr. Chris McManus, his wife, Stacey, and their two children, Connor and Meghan.
Memorial services were held over the weekend in Greenville, South Carolina for the McManus and Antonakos families and in Nikiski for pilot Willie Rediske.
Each of the services drew hundreds of people, according to local news reports.
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By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS