No one was injured Sunday when a commercial Yute Commuter Service plane carrying a pilot and six passengers lost power and crashed near Bethel, authorities said.
The Cessna 207 lost engine power around noon and crashed into tundra roughly 10 miles south of Bethel, Alaska State Troopers said. The flight was taking six passengers from Goodnews Bay to Bethel, said Clint Johnson, chief of Alaska’s National Transportation Safety Board office.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the engine to lose power, Johnson said. The NTSB is investigating the crash.
A pilot with Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures headed toward the area shortly after the crash to transport the pilot and passengers to Bethel, said Robert Rey, a human resources manager for Yute. Snowmachiners from Napakiak coordinated with the pilot to shuttle the passengers and pilot from the scene to a nearby frozen lake where the responding plane landed, Rey said.
Those onboard were rescued from the crash scene within about an hour, Rey said.
Mechanics were at the scene of the accident on Monday and figuring out how to move the wreckage to Bethel, he said.
“I’m just glad nobody was hurt,” Rey said. “The pilot did everything he had to do, he got everyone down safely and then got them back home safely.”
Yute and Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures are owned by Paklook Air. Yute flies throughout the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
The company has been involved in several crashes in recent years, including one in 2020 that left five dead. An investigation revealed communication issues and poor weather contributed to the crash.