Photos: Float plane crash on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula kills former state lawmaker

The Tuesday night crash near Homer on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula killed 65-year-old former Anchorage Rep. Cheryll Heinze.
Jim Lavrakas photo
Fuselage of a Cessna 206, which crashed during a landing attempt at Beluga Lake Tuesday night, lays upside down in the lake Wednesday afternoon.
Jim Lavrakas photo
Homer Fire Chief Robert Painter said multiple EMS and fire crews responded to the crash, with an inflatable Zodiac boat to assist in the rescue.
Jim Lavrakas photo
Former Anchorage Rep. Cheryll Heinze.
Another plane that saw the accident taxied over to the inverted aircraft, and two other passengers were able to climb onto the floats. Rescued passengers were taxied to shore, while two others were picked up by the Zodiac.
Jim Lavrakas photo
Craig Medred


Former Alaska legislator Cheryll Heinze died Tuesday night when a float-equipped Cessna 206 that she and four other people were traveling in from Anchorage flipped upon landing in Beluga Lake about 10:30 p.m.

The Homer Fire Department dispatched a boat to the scene, where the plane was underwater. Four of the five passengers were able to safely evacuate with what National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson described as minor injuries.

The 65-year-old Heinze, however, was trapped in the submerged aircraft before being extricated by rescue personnel, the Alaska State Troopers said. She didn’t survive.

“From what it sounded like, the plane was under water, and she was trapped inside,” troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said. “They initiated CPR, and from what I’m told, they were able to get a pulse.”

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