Monday, October 3, 2016

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, Hageland Aviation Services dba Ravn Connect, N208SD : Fatal accident occurred October 02, 2016 in Togiak, Alaska

Flight #3153 Operated by Hageland Aviation Services d.b.a. Ravn Connect:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03


Date: 02-OCT-16

Time: 21:53:00Z
Regis#: N208SD
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 208
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Fatal
Damage: Substantial
Activity: On Demand
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Aircraft Operator: HAG-Hageland Aviation Services
State: Alaska

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska authorities have released the names of two pilots who died in a weekend crash of a commercial flight in southwest Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers say 43-year-old Timothy Cline of Homer and 29-year-old Drew Welty of Anchorage were killed Sunday in the crash of a Cessna 208B operated by Hageland Aviation.

Also killed in the crash was 49-year-old passenger Louie John of Manokotak. The men were the only three on board the aircraft.

The Cessna was on 70-mile flight to Togiak from Quinhagak when it crashed on a mountainside 12 miles northwest of Togiak.

The crash site has been described by troopers as steep and challenging.

Alaska State Troopers have identified the passenger killed in Sunday's crash of a Ravn Connect flight near Togiak.

Manokotak resident Louie John, 49, was killed when the Hageland Aviation Cessna 208B en route from Quinhagak to Togiak slammed into a mountainous area northwest of Togiak between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The pilot and a co-pilot also died in the crash.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said Wednesday that all three bodies have been recovered from the aircraft, which National Transportation Safety Board investigators said was "highly fragmented" in the crash. Although troopers believe that relatives of the pilot and co-pilot have been notified by Ravn, troopers haven't been able to contact them directly because they may be en route to Alaska.

"We haven't verified that any law enforcement has done the next-of-kin notification," Peters said. "We're still trying to track them down so we can make sure that they know."

Ravn issued a statement Tuesday afternoon offering condolences to the families of those killed in the crash of Flight 3153. The company said its priorities since the crash have included working with "family and friends involved," as well as agencies investigating the crash.

"While Alaska is the largest state in the union, it still has the connectedness and heart of a small community, so these losses are far-reaching and felt deeply," Ravn Group chair and CEO Bob Hajdukovich said in the statement.

Ravn officials weren't immediately available Wednesday morning to say whether the company had notified the pilot and co-pilot's next of kin.

ANCHORAGE – Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5

Alaska State Troopers have identified one of the victims in Sunday’s fatal plane crash near Togiak. Louie John, 49, of Manokotak was identified as the only passenger, according to an online dispatch sent Wednesday.

“The names of the pilot and copilot will be released when verification of next of kin notification has occurred,” troopers wrote.

Update: 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4

Alaska State Troopers say the bodies of two pilots and a passenger killed in a plane crash near Togiak have been recovered from the crash site. Their bodies were in transit to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage Tuesday.

“On behalf of the employees of Ravn Alaska I would like to offer heartfelt condolences to the communities, friends and families for those aboard flight #3153,” Ravn Air Group CEO Bob Hajdukovich said in a statement Tuesday.

The names of the deceased are being withheld until their families can be notified, troopers said. AST spokeswoman Megan Peters said Tuesday that they were still working to speak with their families.

Johnson said the plane, a Cessna 208 operated by Hageland Aviation Services, was reported missing Sunday afternoon.

“Ravn Connect — which is Hageland Aviation Services doing business as Ravn Connect — contacted us about 1:30 this afternoon indicating they had lost contact with one of their flights in between Quinhagak and Togiak,” Johnson said in a phone interview.

Troopers from Dillingham found the wreckage of the plane about 12 miles northwest of Togiak in steep, mountainous terrain, Johnson explained, adding that troopers were on the ground there before 6:45 p.m.

Johnson said two NTSB investigators were headed to the scene. They arrived Monday and “were blessed” with good weather for their investigation. He also noted the crash site was located near a cell tower, allowing investigators to communicate from the scene.

Images from the crash site show the wreckage scattered across a steep mountain side. Peters said troopers were unable to land immediately near the site, forced instead to land a helicopter roughly a half mile away and hike in to the wreckage. She said a helicopter with hoisting capabilities was chartered out of King Salmon to remove the bodies from the site.

“During the last 48 hours, our priorities have been to work with the family and friends involved as well as state and federal agencies in the recovery of the aircraft,” Jim Hickerson, President of Hageland Aviation, said in a statement Tuesday of the recovery efforts.

Another Ravn Connect flight utilizing a Hageland Aviation Services plane crashed in midair with another plane on Aug. 31. There were no survivors.

“This is the second accident for this operator, but you have to understand, we look at each one of these events on a case by case basis,” Johnson said of the two crashes. “That’s exactly what we’re doing in this case. It’s way to early to see if there’s any similarities between this accident and the other accidents that have happened with Hageland or Ravn Connect.”

Johnson touched on other crashes involving Hageland Aviation Services, after which emergency recommendations were made for an audit of their operations, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration in Alaska. He said, “to their credit,” immediately following the recommendations, Hageland and Ravn Alaska installed a state-of-the-art operation control center in Palmer.

“It’s one that Alaska has never seen the likes of,” he said of the tower.

He said the process of investigating the recent crash was in the early stages and that it would take time to determine the cause of Sunday’s crash. He said once the NTSB’s on-scene investigation concluded, the wreckage would be moved to Dillingham or Anchorage for further examination.

Quinhagak is roughly 70 miles from Togiak by air.



The passenger killed in a small plane crash near Togiak on Sunday has been identified as 49-year-old Louie John from Manokotak.

The two pilots on board the Cessna have not yet been publicly identified pending notification of their family members, troopers say.

Investigators arrived today at the steep, rocky site where a Cessna 208 crashed Sunday in Western Alaska, killing all three people on board.

The crash is the second fatal accident this year for Hageland Aviation, doing business as Ravn Connect, following a deadly mid-air collision Aug. 31 near Russian Mission. The operator, along with parent company HoTH Inc., was the subject of an urgent safety recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board surrounding a series of accidents between late 2012 and 2014.

At that time, the NTSB called on the Federal Aviation Administration to audit HoTH Inc. – a collection that represents the busiest commuter airline in Alaska and included Hageland, Frontier Flying Services and Era Aviation and does business as Ravn Alaska, Ravn Connect and Corvus Airlines. Safety investigators had found shortcomings in the implementation of operator’s risk assessment program, such as flights being approved without proper safeguards, as well as flaws in how the FAA handled oversight of the carriers.

[NTSB issues ‘urgent safety recommendation’ to improve oversight of Alaska operators]

“I have to say, since that time, Hageland and Ravn have installed a state-of-the-art control center in Palmer,” said NTSB Alaska region chief Clint Johnson. “It's one Alaska has never seen the likes of.”

HoTH Inc. and affiliated air carriers reported no flight accidents from the time the NTSB published its recommendation until the August mid-air collision with a Renfro’s Alaska Adventure Super Cub, according to a review of NTSB records.

“I believe after the audit came out, and the inspection came, the company took some very unusual steps and made some remarkable tools to reverse the trend,” said Harry Kieling, of the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation.

The investigation into the Monday crash, meantime, is just beginning.

“We look at each one of these events on a case-by-case basis, and that's exactly what we're doing in this case,” Johnson said. “(It’s) way too early to see if there are any similarities between this accident and the other accident that happened with Hageland or Ravn Connect.”


Three people are dead following a small plane crash near Togiak on Sunday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers say.

The Cessna 208 was travelling from Quinhagak to Togiak carrying three people on board, two of which were Hageland Aviation pilots, troopers wrote in a dispatch posted online.

Troopers in Dillingham were notified at around 1:26 p.m. yesterday that the plane’s emergency locator beacon had been activated. A trooper helicopter responded and successfully located the crash site about 12 miles West of Togiak. No survivors were located, troopers said.

“The National Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified and will be responding to the crash site to assist in the investigation already being conducted by the Alaska State Troopers,” troopers wrote.

According to NTSB regional chief Clint Johnson, two NTSB investigators will travel to Dillingham at daybreak on Monday. Troopers will the transport the investigators to the crash site which is located on very steep rough terrain that is only accessible by helicopter, Johnson said.

The aircraft was operated by Hageland Aviation Services doing business as Ravn Connect flight #3153, the airliner confirmed on Sunday.

As of Monday morning, authorities have not yet publicly identified the victims pending notification of family members. Efforts to recover the bodies and the wreckage will begin on Monday. Troopers say the investigation is ongoing.

Togiak is a village in Western Alaska about 130 miles south of Bethel.

Another Cessna 208 operated by Ravn was involved in a fatal mid-air collision with a Super Cub last month.


Update 8:30 a.m. Monday:  National Transportation Safety Board investigators hoped Monday to reach the site of a plane crash near Togiak that killed three people Sunday afternoon.

Clint Johnson, the NTSB's Alaska chief, said two investigators – Shaun Williams and Noreen Price — reached Dillingham Sunday evening and consulted with Alaska State Troopers. They planned to fly to Togiak via helicopter Monday morning, using the village as a base of operations from which to visit the crashed Cessna 208B.

Troopers were able to initially reach the scene Sunday in steep terrain, Johnson said, by landing nearby then hiking to the site.

"They made it in via helicopter — they were contending with less-than-stellar weather conditions," Johnson said. "All we know at this point is that the wreckage is highly fragmented."

Investigators based in Washington, D.C., are collecting radar and radio data from the fatal flight, including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast or ADS-B tracking information being transmitted by the aircraft.

Original story:  All three people aboard a Ravn Connect flight died Sunday afternoon when the aircraft they were traveling in crashed northwest of Togiak, Alaska State Troopers reported.

The Hageland Aviation Cessna 208B, operating as Ravn Connect, was carrying a pilot, a co-pilot and one passenger from Quinhagak to Togiak. Ground controllers from Hageland lost contact with the flight between 1 and 1:30 p.m., said NTSB Alaska Chief Clint Johnson.

An emergency locator transmitter was activated aboard the Cessna just before 1:30 p.m., troopers said.

Troopers reached the crash site — which Johnson said was located in "steep terrain" about 12 miles northwest of the village of Togiak in Southwest Alaska — later Sunday.

"No survivors were located," troopers said in an online dispatch.

Federal investigators with the NTSB will travel to the scene early Monday morning, Johnson said.

A statement from Ravn Alaska Sunday evening confirmed that there were two pilots and a passenger aboard the plane. The victims of the crash were not immediately identified Sunday pending notification of their families.

Just over a month ago, another Hageland flight carrying three people collided in midair near Russian Mission with a plane operated by Renfro's Alaskan Adventures. Five people were killed in that crash, which is still being investigated.


1 comment:

Brenda Beggs said...

Any updates on the identities of the victims of the crash yet?