Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cessna 206, N206VR: Accident occurred July 10, 2012 in Homer, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC12FA073 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 10, 2012 in Homer, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N206VR
Injuries: 1 Fatal,4 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 10, 2012, about 2206 Alaska daylight time, a float-equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N206VR, sustained substantial damage while landing on Beluga Lake, Homer, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. Of the five occupants onboard, the commercial pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries, and one passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at the Sixmile Lake Seaplane Base, Anchorage, Alaska, and it had completed a planned dinner stop in Kenai, Alaska, before continuing on to Homer, the flight's final destination for the day.

During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on July 11, the pilot said his southerly approach to Beluga Lake was normal, but the air was turbulent during the descent. He estimated the wind conditions at Beluga Lake to be 130 degrees, at 10 knots, with peak gust between 12 to 14 knots. The pilot reported that while landing to the south, just after touchdown, a gust of wind lifted the left wing, and the right wing struck the water. The airplane nosed over abruptly, and the cabin immediately filled with cold lake water. The pilot stated there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

During a separate on-scene interview with the NTSB IIC on July 11, a passenger that was in a second row seat, on the right side of the airplane, reported that he and three other occupants struggled to escape the sinking wreckage through the aft, right-side door, but it was difficult to open since the airplane’s flaps were in the down position, which blocked the upper portion of the door. He said that eventually he was able to force the door open slightly, and then he and the other three occupants were able to escape the submerged airplane through a 10 to 12-inch gap in the doorway. After all four exited the airplane, they realized that one passenger was still within the submerged wreckage, and they attempted to get back into the cabin area to search for her. The passenger also reported that while sitting atop the submerged and inverted fuselage, he used his feet and legs to force the door open, and the door suddenly opened.

Once rescuers were able to gain access to the cabin area, they were able to free the unconscious and unresponsive passenger from her third row, left side seat. The passenger was found restrained in her seat, with the seatbelt fastened.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage during the accident.

The closest weather reporting facility was the Homer Airport, about 1 mile west of the accident site. About 13 minutes before the accident, at 2153, a weather observation from the Homer Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 140 degrees, at 14 knots, gusting to 25 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, 4,800 feet broken, 6,000 feet broken, 7,000 feet overcast, temperature, 53 degrees F; dew point 43 degrees F; altimeter, 29.92 inHG.

At the time of the accident, a pilot-rated witness standing on the southeastern shoreline of Beluga Lake reported strong and gusty wind conditions, out of the northeast, estimated at 20 to 25 knots.

  Regis#: 206VR        Make/Model: C206      Description: U206G
  Date: 07/11/2012     Time: 0606

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: HOMER    State: AK   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   4     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   3     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: ANCHORAGE, AK  (AL03)                 Entry date: 07/12/2012

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.”

Heinze died before arriving at an Anchorage hospital for treatment.

According to Homer Fire Chief Robert Painter, multiple EMS and fire crews responded to the crash, with an inflatable Zodiac boat to assist in the rescue. Painter confirmed that four of the five passengers on the plane were able to self-rescue, with two clinging to the floats of the overturned plane in the cold water of Beluga Lake.

Painter said that another plane that saw the accident taxied over to the inverted aircraft, and two other passengers were able to climb onto the floats into the chilly air. The other aircraft then taxied over to shore to drop off the rescued passengers, while two more passengers were picked up by the Zodiac.
That just left Heinze, trapped in the upside-down plane. Painter said that some of the rescuers had ice-rescue suits on, which are buoyant.

"The one victim that was trapped in the plane, they were trying to get her freed up, and one of them had to take off (his) exposure suit to swim below the surface," Painter said. "She was seatbelted in the overturned plane, and they got her out onto the float and began CPR," he said.

They were able to revive Heinze and transport her to South Peninsula Hospital, but she went into cardiac arrest during the medevac flight to Anchorage, Painter said.

Heinze was born in Oklahoma in 1946, before moving to Anchorage from 1951-1954, according to her legislative biography. She returned to Alaska in the mid-1980s, eventually settling in Anchorage, where she had lived since 1989.

Heinze was elected in 2002 as a Representative of State House District 24 in Anchorage. She dropped out of her race for re-election in 2004, citing health issues, and Rep. Berta Gardner has occupied her seat ever since. A 2008 Anchorage Daily News article said that Heinze had been under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly soliciting utility jobs while still a legislator, but the investigation didn't lead to anything. Heinze said then that she had never spoken with the FBI in relation to the investigation.

Her husband, Harold Heinze, is a former CEO of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority who now works for Matanuska Electric Association. Cheryll was director of public affairs for MEA, as well as an artist.

The plane was being flown by 71-year-old Evan Griffith, according to troopers. The 206 was registered to an owner in Eagle River. Evan "Joe" Griffith is general manager at MEA.
According to Kevin Brown, communications manager at MEA, all five people aboard were employees of the company. Cheryll's husband was not aboard the plane, Brown said.

MEA released a brief statement Wednesday morning, but Brown called Heinze "an extraordinary human being."

"She was joy in human form," he said. " She loved everybody, she loved what she did."
Johnson said that the NTSB had investigators on the way to the scene Wednesday morning.

Cheryll Heinze

Former Alaska Lawmaker Cheryll Heinze died from injuries in plane crash.

After the plane crash on Tuesday night at Beluga Lake, all that could be seen of the submerged float plane was its pontoons.

Former Alaska state Rep. Cheryll Heinze has died following a plane crash late Tuesday night in Homer, according to Alaska State Troopers. The Cessna 206, on floats, crashed during a landing attempt on Beluga Lake near the Homer airport, said Clint Johnson, an air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. 

 Heinze was among five people on board the plane, troopers say. The four others suffered minor injuries, Johnson said.

All were rescued by boat, troopers say. The plane was under water when Heinze was pulled free, said trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters.

"They started CPR, they got a pulse on her and I believe she was also breathing at that point, but I don't think she regained consciousness."

Troopers initially said that Heinze was flown to Alaska Regional Hospital for treatment, but Peters later said the 65-year-old was pronounced dead in Homer before she could be medevacked to Anchorage.

Heinze, a Republican, served a single term in the Alaska Legislature, representing House District 24 in a traditionally Republican part of Midtown. She won the open seat in 2002 and filed for re-election in 2004 but withdrew from the race.

More recently, Heinze worked as director of human resources and public affairs for Matanuska Electric Association, a Palmer-based utility.

Two NTSB air safety investigators are expected to arrive in Homer this morning, Johnson said. He did not know the weather conditions at the time of the crash or what caused the accident.

"My understanding is (the flight) originated in Anchorage and then en route to Homer, not sure if there was a stop in between," he said.

The plane flipped and came to a rest upside down, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. Troopers identified the pilot as 71-year-old Evan Joe Griffith, of Anchorage. Griffith remained hospitalized Wednesday for non-life-threatening injuries, Peters said.

Read more here:

Homer Plane Crash Kills Former State Lawmaker Near Beluga Lake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—  A former state lawmaker Cheryll Heinze, 65, died Wednesday morning following a plane crash Tuesday night in Homer, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers said calls came in around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday of a plane crash at Beluga Lake in Homer and that Homer Police and Fire Departments and rescued all on board.

Five people were on board a Cessna 206, according to Clint Johnson with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Troopers said 71-year-old Evan Griffin, of Homer, was piloting the float plane and crashed while landing at Beluga Lake.

Heinze was last serving as Director of Human Resources and Public Affairs for Matanuska Electric Association. MEA said several members of the MEA Senior Staff were on the flight and suffered minor injuries.

NTSB spokesperson Clint Johnson said crash investigators were en route to the scene Wednesday morning.

Former Anchorage legislator Cheryl Heinze died in a plane crash on Beluga Lake Wednesday night, an accident that left four others with minor injuries.

At about 11:30 p.m. Alaska State Troopers received several 911 calls reporting a plane crash at Beluga Lake in Homer. Homer Police Department and Homer Fire Department were contacted and a rescue boat was launched to rescue the individuals on board. 

 The float plane piloted by Evan Griffin, 71 of Homer, crashed while landing at Beluga Lake. There were four passengers on board at the time of the crash. All were rescued from the plane.

Passenger Cheryl Heinze, 65 of Anchorage, was critically injured in the
crash. She was transported to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage for treatment. Heinze succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Her next of kin has been notified.

Heinze was an Anchorage Republican legislator in the 1990s and most recently served as the director of human resources for the Matanuska Electric Association. Other staff from the MEA also were on board, but those names have not been released.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the crash and is responding to the scene to investigate the cause and circumstances of the crash.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— A Homer plane crash has killed one person near Beluga Lake Tuesday night, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. 

NTSB spokesperson Clint Johnson said the crash happened around 10:30 p.m. and 5 people were on board a Cessna 206.

The NTSB has crash investigators en route to the scene Wednesday morning.

Small plane crashes in Homer, 1 person reported dead 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A small plane has crashed near Homer.

KTUU-TV ( reports that there were five people aboard a Cessna 206 when it crashed in Beluga Lake. Clint Johnson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, says one person is dead.

The Cessna 206 is a six-seat plane that can be equipped with floats for taking off and landing on water. It is a popular plane in Alaska for sightseeing and traveling in the Bush.

No other details were immediately available.

Information from: KTUU-TV,

No comments:

Post a Comment