Monday, April 21, 2014

Tuxedni Bay, Cook Inlet - Alaska

Father, son hole up in cabin after aircraft accident

A father and son spent Sunday night in a cabin on the west side of Cook Inlet after an aircraft accident grounded them. According to Alaska State Troopers, 34-year-old David Hill and his 15-year-old son left the Birchwood Airport, north of Eagle River, at about 3 p.m. Sunday. A few hours later, their SPOT emergency beacon was activated in the vicinity of Tuxedni Bay, on the west side of Cook Inlet, across from the Kenai Peninsula. Hill sent a satellite text message to his wife that the aircraft had been "bent" and that he and the teen would spend the night in a cabin near the crash site. 

Troopers responded Monday morning around 7 a.m. and reported finding the two uninjured. The aircraft had been caught in a "ground loop" -- in which one of an aircraft's wings rises while the other approaches the ground, often striking the ground with a wing tip, causing the plane to spin while on the ground, during taxiing, landing or takeoff. In this case, the ground loop caused damage to the wing and tail.



Alaska State Troopers said a father and son from Eagle River were uninjured after damaging their plane near Tuxedni Bay Sunday.

The emergency locator beacon on the PA-18 Super Cub was activated shortly after 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to trooper dispatch, and investigation revealed the beacon belonged to 34-year-old David Hill. When contacted by troopers, Hill’s wife said he had flown from Birchwood Airport around 3 p.m. with their 15-year-old son, bound for the west side of Lower Cook Inlet. Troopers said Hill sent a message to his wife shortly after the emergency beacon activation, telling her the plane was “bent” but there were no injuries. He and his son would spend the night at a nearby cabin, Hill said via text.

Nighttime flying restrictions prevented AST from launching a rescue Sunday night, troopers said, so Helo 3 responded to Tuxedni Bay around 7 a.m. Monday morning. Both Hill and his son were located and flown back to the Birchwood Airport, and troopers said investigation showed their plane damaged its wing and tail in a ground loop Sunday night.

National Transportation Safety Board officials were notified of the crash, troopers said.