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Aviation

No injuries when plane carrying 6 flips during beach landing at bear-viewing site

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: June 8, 2017
  • Published June 7, 2017

Six people were unhurt Tuesday afternoon when their aircraft flipped on the same Cook Inlet beach where at least two other aircraft found themselves in trouble last year, according to crash investigators.

Clint Johnson, the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska chief, said the NorthAir Inc. flight had taken off from Kenai and was landing on a beach in Chinitna Bay at about 4:30 p.m. The Cessna 207 was on a bear-watching trip at the time.

"On landing, (the plane) flipped over onto its back," Johnson said.

The bay is on the west side of Cook Inlet, across the inlet from Anchor Point.

Johnson said the flip occurred at the same site where a pair of Cessna 206s tipped onto their noses last July.

Planes flown by two air tour operators nosed over on a beach on Chinitna Bay last July. (Courtesy Richard Hojohn)

Locals said at that time that several air tour operators were flocking to the site due to its popularity for bear viewing, despite difficulties taxiing on the soft beach sand.

A NorthAir employee said Wednesday that the company had no immediate comment on this week's incident.

NTSB investigators didn't visit the scene, Johnson said, but will be coordinating with the company and its insurers as they work to recover the aircraft.

"They are launching now to get it out of there," Johnson said.

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