Small plane makes emergency landing in western Alaska

Devin Kelly

A small airplane was forced to make an emergency landing on the tundra southwest of Chevak after it apparently lost power in mid-air on Friday.

The airplane operated by Yute Air, a Cessna 172, was flying to Bethel from Chevak, a community on the north bank of the Niglikfak River in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. When the engine suddenly lost power, pilot Damond Jolley, 34, landed the plane on the tundra.

Neither Jolley nor his only passenger, 60-year-old Stanley Dunagan of Anchorage, were injured.

"It looks like the pilot did a real admirable job at getting it back on the ground," said Brice Banning, investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. He added that there was no apparent damage to the airplane.

The Alaska State Troopers retrieved the two men in an aircraft and returned them to Bethel. The company is working on recovering the airplane, Banning said. What caused the loss of engine power remains under investigation.

Reach Devin Kelly at or 257-4314.