Nobody hurt when plane makes emergency landing on frozen lake in Southwest Alaska

A plane carrying Medevac Alaska crew members made an emergency landing on a frozen lake in a remote part of Southwest Alaska on Christmas Eve, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The single-engine plane transported a patient on a chartered medical flight from Anchorage to the Nushagak River village of New Stuyahok on Tuesday afternoon, NTSB Alaska chief Clint Johnson said. The plane left New Stuyahok around 2:30 p.m. and the pilot reported engine failure about 15 minutes later, Johnson said.

The Pilatus PC-12 plane made an emergency landing on a frozen lake about 8 miles east of Koliganek, north of New Stuyahok, according to Johnson. The pilot and two Medevac Alaska crew members were not injured. Johnson did not identify the company that was operating the plane Thursday afternoon.

The frozen lake was in a remote area, Johnson said. A good Samaritan helicopter from Dillingham, about 70 miles away, picked up the three people from the lake and Johnson said they were back in Anchorage by 11:30 p.m.

Johnson said the NTSB is working with the plane’s operator to determine the extent of damage and investigate what caused the emergency landing.

On Nov. 29, two Medevac Alaska crew members and a Security Aviation pilot were killed in a crash on the Kenai Peninsula. Two companies had earlier turned down the flight on the day of the crash due to weather concerns.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at twilliams@adn.com.