Saturday, February 02, 2019

Beech B200 Super King Air, operated by Guardian Flight as an instrument flight rules (IFR) air ambulance flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N13LY: Fatal accident occurred January 29, 2019 in Kake, Alaska

Patrick Coyle

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau, Alaska

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Kake, AK
Accident Number: ANC19FA012
Date & Time: 01/29/2019, 1811 AKS
Registration: N13LY
Aircraft: Beech 200
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business - Air Medical (Unspecified) 

On January 29, 2019, about 1811 Alaska standard time, a twin-engine, turbine-powered Raytheon Aircraft Company (formerly Beech Aircraft Corporation) B200 airplane, N13LY, is presumed destroyed after impacting the waters of Frederick Sound following a loss of control while on approach to Kake Airport (PAFE), Kake, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by Guardian Flight as an instrument flight rules (IFR) air ambulance flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airline transport pilot, flight paramedic, and flight nurse who was 27 weeks pregnant are presumed fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the destination airport, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight departed Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (PANC), Anchorage, Alaska, about 1604 destined for PAFE.

A preliminary review of archived voice communication information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) contained the following verbal exchange between the radar controller at Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and the accident flight as it maneuvered for the area navigation (RNAV) runway 11 approach to the airport:

At 1806:07 ARTCC: "Medevac three lima yankee cross CEMGA at or above seven-thousand you're cleared for the RNAV runway 11 approach to Kake Airport."

At 1806:11 N13LY: "CEMGA at or above seven-thousand cleared for the RNAV 11 for King Air three lima yankee."

At 1807:43 N13LY: "Three lima yankee CEMGA inbound."

At 1807:45 ARTCC: "Three lima yankee roger change to advisory frequency approved."

At 1807:48 N13LY: "OK we're switching good day."

There were no further communications with the accident flight.

A preliminary review of archived FAA radar data revealed that the accident airplane crossed the CEMGA waypoint on the RNAV runway 11 approach at an altitude of about 7,000 ft above mean sea level (msl), then turned northeast and crossed the ZOLKO initial approach fix about 5,000 ft msl. The airplane then initiated a gradual descent and continued northeast toward the JOJOE intermediate fix. About 1810, while the flight was between ZOLKO and JOJOE, the airplane entered a right turn toward a southerly heading and began a rapid descent, losing about 2,575 ft of altitude in 14 seconds. The last radar data point was at 1810:36 when the airplane was at 1,300 ft msl and heading 143° with a ground speed of 174 knots.

Excerpt RNAV (GPS) RWY 11 Approach PAFE.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, a witness located at PAFE reported that she had driven up early to meet the airplane and observed that the pilot-controlled runway lighting system illuminated about 1809. After about 10 minutes, when the airplane failed to arrive, she contacted Guardian Flight to inquire about the overdue airplane.

An alert notice (ALNOT) was issued by the FAA at 1845, and an extensive search was launched. Search operations were conducted by personnel from the United States Coast Guard, Petersburg Search and Rescue, Alaska State Troopers, Kake Search and Rescue, Alaska Marine Highway Ferries, and numerous Good Samaritans.

On January 30, airplane debris was located about 22 miles west of Kake floating on the surface of the water near Point Gardner in Chatham Strait.

The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and a Dukane DK-100 underwater beacon. Search and recovery efforts continue, and a detailed wreckage examination and CVR audition is pending following recovery.

The closest weather reporting facility is at PAFE, about 20 miles east of the presumed accident site. At 1756, a PAFE aviation routine weather report (METAR) reported wind from 100° at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, light rain, broken clouds at 1,500 ft and 2,500 ft, overcast clouds at 5,500 ft, temperature 36° F, dew point 34° F, and altimeter 29.95 inHG.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N13LY
Model/Series: 200 B200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Guardian Flight LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAFE
Observation Time: 0256 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK (PANC)
Destination: Kake, AK (PAFE) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 56.995000, -134.467222

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

Margaret Langston Allen

An extended Inishowen family has been “left devastated” by an Alaskan air tragedy, which has claimed the life of their cousin, air ambulance pilot, Patrick Coyle (63).

Two of Mr. Coyle's colleagues, flight nurse, Stacie Rae Morse (30) and flight paramedic, Margaret Langston Allen (43) also perished in the accident.

According to the Alaskan Coast Guard, Patrick’s Beech B200 Super King Air took off from Anchorage (south-central Alaska) on Tuesday past, to fly to Kake, on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island (south-eastern Alaska.)

However, the plane failed to arrive at its destination at the expected time of 6:19 pm that evening and was subsequently reported missing.

Speaking to Donegal Now, Mary Lyttle, one of Patrick’s cousins, said the whole family has been “left devastated” by the tragedy.

Mary said: “We just can’t believe Patrick has gone. He was so full of life. He used to phone me every other week and he always had a story or a joke. He was very close to his whole family.

“He kept in touch with his cousins in Inishowen and in the US. He always had a big smile on his face. All I can hope for now is that Patrick’s remains and those of his colleagues are found, so that the families can have some closure.

“The Coast Guard called off the search for survivors on Friday past. They are now searching for the plane’s flight recorder, to try and find out what happened. Apparently, it beeps for four weeks after a crash.

“The Coast Guard also found aircraft debris the day after the crash, but they have not yet confirmed whether it belongs to Patrick’s plane or not. Patrick was a very experienced pilot. He flew for the Navy and later for Customs and Excise. He had lived in many places including the Virgin Islands, but he moved to Alaska nine years ago and described the community as being like “another family” he had settled in so well. He loved working for Guardian Flight,” said Mary.

The tragedy has been compounded by the fact that flight nurse, Stacie Rae Morse was seven months pregnant and flight paramedic, Margaret Langston Allen had just got married in September past.

Patrick’s father Owen Coyle (95) had just returned to the States after a visit to Inishowen. Owen emigrated from the home house in Burnfoot’s Brae Road, to the US in 1947 and now lives in Lansdale, Philadelphia.

Owen’s sisters, Patrick’s aunts, remained in Inishowen. Bridie McCallion lives in Buncrana and Mary Doherty (Mary Lyttle’s mum) lives in Burnfoot. His brothers, Patrick’s uncles, Paddy and James Coyle live in Derry.

Patrick’s mother, Katie (deceased) was originally from Toombridge. According to Mary, Katie’s brother, Patrick’s uncle, Tommy Joe Johnston, also lives in the States. He also has an uncle, Hugh Johnston from Portstewart, who owns the Railway Bar in Coleraine.

Mary said: “Patricks sisters, Kathleen, Mary Ellen and Betty Anne and his brothers, Michael, John, Brian, Owen and twin Billy have all returned home from Alaska.”

Hundreds of Juneau residents turnout February 1st, 2019, in 8F degree weather for a candlelight vigil at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park for the Guardian medical flight crew that went missing this week. 

As a cold wind swept down Gastineau Channel on Friday night, hundreds of people braved the conditions to pay their respects to those who were on board a medevac plane that went missing en route to Kake earlier in the week.

The crowd gathered around the whale statue at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park as friends and family spoke about Patrick Coyle, Stacie Rae Morse and Margaret Langston Allen. Margaret’s father Gene looked out at a couple hundred Juneauites clutching electric candles and expressed his gratitude.

“Margaret was special to us, as apparently she was to you guys too, to see this crowd,” he said.

The vigil began at 6 p.m., and concluded with a moment of silence at 6:19 p.m. The timing was important, and carefully planned out. The Guardian Flight plane was supposed to land in Kake at 6:19 p.m. Tuesday. The flight, which was coming from Anchorage, never arrived. The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies searched for the ensuing 63 hours before suspending the search at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Photos of Coyle, 63, Morse, 30, and Allen, 43, leaned up against a dais as Alaska Police and Fire Chaplain Diane Peterson moderated the event. There were tears at many points, from those speaking and those listening. There was also laughter, though, as people shared funny anecdotes and thoughts about the trio.

Erin San Angelo, Morse’s close friend, pointed out that there was a fourth person aboard that flight — Morse’s unborn baby, Delta Rae.

“I’d never seen her so happy in her life,” San Angelo said of Morse. “All she wanted to be was a mother.”

San Angelo wore Morse’s jacket as she spoke, saying it felt good to be wrapped up in her friend’s coat. Her talk kept coming back around to Delta Rae, and about how excited Morse was for the future.

Many of the friends and family came from out of state to be in Juneau during the search and for the vigil. Some of them thanked Guardian Flight for supporting them through the week.

Coyle’s brother Billy said during the vigil that the hospitality has impressed him.

“Now we know why my brother Pat loved it up here so much,” Billy said. “The place is beautiful, and the people are even better.”

In the day leading up to the event, people in the aviation and nursing communities sent emails and texts and Facebook posts to make sure as many people could get there as possible.

Juneau resident Katie Kowalchuk was among them. She didn’t know any of the people aboard the plane, but her husband Sam Steensland is a pilot who met Coyle through work. Though she didn’t have a personal connection to any of them, she said it was important for the full community to come together.

“It’s a small community and I think it’s so important that everyone’s coming together, and it’s so healing,” Kowalchuk said.

For those in attendance, particularly Morse’s family and friends, they wanted that healing process to be reflective of those being remembered. San Angelo found a band called Delta Rae and played an acoustic song called “No Peace In Quiet,” which is about trying to move on after loss.

After that song, it was time to send Morse off in style. They played Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” which Morse’s father Tim said would get Morse fired up when she was younger. As the song began, so did a fireworks show just next to the whale statue.

The sky lit up, and attendees stopped in their tracks to watch. San Angelo was up front, her arms spread wide as she took in the show.

She and others cheered as the fireworks created an explosive backdrop for the large statue, finding a little joy together after a week filled with heartbreak.

Original article can be found here ➤

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew flies over a piece of debris spotted by Alaska Wildlife Troopers while searching for three people aboard an overdue Guardian Life Flight aircraft 20 miles west of Kake, January 30th, 2019. 

A search has been suspended for the medevac plane that vanished over Southeast Alaska with three crew members on board.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced, on Thursday evening, that they were calling off the search for the Guardian Flight air ambulance that was due to land in Kake on Tuesday night but never arrived.

Coast Guard conducted aerial and maritime searches for 63 hours over the course of three days. They continued those efforts late into Thursday afternoon with the cutters Anacapa and Bailey Barco, as well as crews from Air Station Sitka and Air Station Kodiak, Search and Rescue teams from Kake and surrounding communities and volunteers. Together, they scoured 240 square nautical miles in an area 20 miles west of Kake.

Chief Charly Hengen, public affairs specialist for the Coast Guard, confirmed that the debris found on Wednesday appeared to be from the Guardian Flight, but said that no other debris was found over the course of their three-day effort. That was one of several factors that led the Coast Guard to call off the search.

“I think the weather was going to become pretty severe over the next few days. That could have been taken into consideration,” Hengen said. “The extensive amount of time and the saturation of the search area that we did. Plus they were not able to locate any other debris.”

Original story

A third day of searching for a Beech B200 Super King Air Medevac plane that vanished Tuesday over Southeast Alaska has yielded no sign of the three crew members aboard.

U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Michael Kahl said efforts by Coast Guard ships and aircraft have been ongoing day and night. Local rescuers have also been combing nearby beaches.

“We’re focused right now on finding survivors,” Kahl told reporters Thursday in Juneau. “With the incoming weather, we’re throwing all of the resources right now to that effect. We will continue to search either until we have found them, or we are comfortable that we have given the best effort to locate them in that search area.”

Freezing temperatures and high winds are forecast in the search area around the community of Kake, where the Guardian Flight air ambulance was due at 6:19 p.m. Tuesday.

Floating debris was found the next day in the search area about 22 miles west of Kake.

Guardian Flight Senior Vice President of Operations Randy Lyman released a statement Wednesday:

“While the Coast Guard and others continue the search for the missing Guardian Flight aircraft off the coast of Alaska, the debris found by searchers unfortunately gives us a very strong indication that it was our airplane. While search and rescue efforts are continuing in an attempt to find survivors, we are resigned to accept that the aircraft was ours. On board were Pilot Patrick Coyle, 63, Flight Nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30, and Flight Paramedic Margaret Langston, 43, all based in Juneau. (Margaret was earlier identified as Margaret Langston Allen, but we have been informed by her family that she was recently married, and her last name is now Langston.) We continue to ask for everyone’s prayers and support as we focus on families, crew members and the entire Guardian Flight team and extended family of all those involved.”

Kahl said the National Transportation Safety Board will examine the debris being held in Kake.

“We located what appears to be a piece of the wing just north and west of the last known position of the aircraft,” Kahl said. “We now have that wing in our possession and are holding it for the NTSB.”

The Coast Guard commander said this search effects many in the close-knit community of first responders.

“Southeast Alaska is a very small community. We’re all very close here,” Kahl said. “We know the three passengers on board are friends and neighbors. We focus all of our energy on every search we do, but this one is particularly personal for us.”

The trio had left Anchorage and were bound for Kake to Medevac a patient from the community’s clinic.

Their plane never arrived, and signals from its electronic locating transmitter haven’t been detected. Kahl said the patient was later flown by another carrier.

Guardian’s operations in Alaska remained suspended Thursday afternoon pending more information on its missing plane and crew.

Original article can be found here ➤

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