Engine trouble on cargo plane leads to emergency landing at Merrill Field Airport in Anchorage

A cargo plane experienced engine trouble after departing Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Wednesday morning, prompting an emergency landing at Merrill Field Airport near downtown, an official from the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The TransNorthern Aviation Douglas DC-3 landed with wheels up on runway seven around 10:40 a.m., said Clint Johnson, president of the NTSB’s Alaska office.

The preliminary investigation points to a loss of power in one of the plane′s two engines, he said.

Johnson said he believes two people were in the plane, but no injuries were reported. It was not immediately clear if the plane was damaged or to what extent. The plane had been headed to Kodiak, Johnson said.

TransNorthern Aviation offers passenger and cargo flights around Alaska, according to the company website. The plane was manufactured in 1952, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s aircraft registry.

Questions to airport management were referred to the Municipality of Anchorage, which operates Merrill Field.

Crews at the airport were working to unload and move the plane off the runway Wednesday afternoon, Johnson said. The runway had reopened to traffic as of about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, Mayor Dave Bronson’s office said in a statement.


The NTSB will be investigating.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported, based on information from an NTSB official, where the airplane had departed from.

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.