Saturday, August 27, 2022

Floatplane pilot describes close encounter with boat in Halibut Cove, Alaska

@xploringalaska

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Floatplane pilot Eric Lee feels that the dangerous incident he experienced in Halibut Cove earlier this week should be investigated by law enforcement.

Lee owns Alaska Ultimate Safaris in Homer and had his plane intentionally circled at close proximity by a boater in Halibut Cove as he was attempting to exit the area with flightseeing passengers on board. A video clip of the encounter went viral, and Lee said he hopes it doesn’t happen again.

In his over 20 years of flying, Lee said that he has never experienced anything resembling what happened on Tuesday. In a phone interview, Lee said he was taxiing through Halibut Cove and preparing to take off for a trip with seven passengers on board when he spotted an aluminum boat approaching him.

“The aluminum boat was coming toward me, I thought they were trying to get around me at first,” Lee said. “Then they started weaving back and forth fairly close to the aircraft.”

Lee said the narrow cove made it difficult to maneuver away from the boat and he worried about what would happen if it were to hit his plane.

“My concern level was high because she was — it appeared to be within inches — but more than likely within feet of our wings,” Lee said. “Had she, at those speeds, hit our wings, I just assumed it was going to be a catastrophe and we would have to evacuate.”

Lee said the possibility of having to safely evacuate seven passengers in the middle of the cove raised even more concerns.

“If the boat did actually hit me, how was I going to get them to get out of the aircraft and to safety,” Lee said. “Because the tide runs through there pretty fast and sometimes creates a pretty strong current, and it’s fairly cold water and, of course, the sides of the bay are fairly rocky too, so it would have been a tough maneuver if I had to do that.”

Fortunately, Lee didn’t have to. He said a second boat appeared, urging the woman who he identified as a local business owner, to stop what she was doing, which she eventually did. Lee was able to get around her boat and safely take off for the flightseeing trip.

Both the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers are investigating the incident and Lee said he’s glad.

“I mean there’s a whole mess of things she could have done differently to address the situation if she had issues with me or just general operations in the cove,” Lee said. " I know that other people have reached out trying to figure out the best solution to all get along in the small environment, and so I think it should be investigated to figure out how to avoid this in the future, 100%.”



45 comments:

  1. Better result in jail time.

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    1. It won't, she's related to someone in the state senate. I've had run ins with this woman and her husband, I made sure it was worth it......

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    2. Pretty sure the FAA can step in and take action. Hazarding a vessel is a federal crime.

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  2. Wow, she's definitely deliberately making waves in front of the aircraft to make taxing difficult. 100% needs to be investigated, this could have ended very poorly for all involved.

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  3. Tourists can only get there by boat or float plane. Every passenger on the float plane is one fare the boat service providers missed out on.

    Float planes compete for fares that would otherwise belong to the faster boats of that ferry trade. That aluminum boat is a much faster ride than the vintage but pokey Danny J.

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    1. Did you even read the article? It was a sightseeing trip, not a transport trip. So no, a boat will not provide the same views as an airplane.

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    2. You may have expressed the general concerns of the boat and floatplane operators, but the boat operator hasn't explained their intentions. This may be a case of poor anger management, but there's not enough information in the article to confirm it beyond all doubt. Let the Coasties investigate.

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    3. Boat driver seeing a float plane that is home based 10 miles away in Homer taxiing in "her" cove doesn't have mind reading skills necessary to magically know whether the occupants are flightseeing or just being transported back to homer.

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  4. Post the name of the business owner and make her famous!

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    1. Marien Beck, used to work for Saltry Restaurant. Got an issue? Try using your brain, not your boat-- I suppose that's quite the challenge for her, as she hasn't got one of the two.

      Time to throw the crazy b*tch in jail, and make her publicly apologize for threatening these people's lives.

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  5. Mirian has acted like this for decades, both on land and on water. She's a 68 year old drunk loudmouthed spoiled child and a bully. No one has ever called her out on it because she's rich and her family owns most of Halibut Cove, including her restaurant. She wasn't terrorizing Eric and his customers over lost revenue, she was terrorizing them because she feels that she owns the whole entire Kachemak Bay and she has always hated floatplanes in 'her Cove.' The only floatplanes she wants to see in 'her Cove' are the ones her drunk pal Alice Rogoff crashes into the Cove...

    https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/?NTSBNumber=ANC16LA038

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    1. http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2016/07/cessna-t206h-turbo-stationair-umailik.html

      http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2017/07/cessna-180g-n4734u-incident-occurred.html

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    2. Ghislaine Maxwell = In 2014, Rogoff piloted her own plane along the famed Iditarod race with her friend Ghislaine Maxwell.

      Obama = In late August, 2015, Rogoff hosted President Barack Obama in her Anchorage home for a private dinner party during the first day of a three-day trip Obama made to Alaska to address global warming. Rogoff has known the Obama family for several years.

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  6. Is interference with a taxiing aircraft a felony?

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    1. Kidnapping and false imprisonment are felonies. Preventing someone from leaving is not intelligent.

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    2. Alaska Stat. Sec. 11.41.250 - Reckless endangerment
      (a) A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.
      (b) Reckless endangerment is a class A misdemeanor.

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    3. A class A misdemeanor in Alaska is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

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    4. Just about all offenses involving an aircraft is a felony. Lock her up!

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    5. Because of her daddy, the State Troopers will do nothing to her. That's how they've always dealt with complaints about her drunken reckless behavior. The AST are more of a political tool than the FBI is.
      When a floatplane is on the water it falls under both FAA and Coast Guard law. If you've taken a commercial flight in the past couple years you will know that interfering with a flight is a federal felony. The problem is, the feds almost never prosecute flight interference cases no matter how egregious. As for the Coast Guard, she obviously committed gross negligence operation of a vessel which is a Class A Misdemeanor. Her drinking buddy Alice Rogoff would easily get her off of any negligence rap, but the Coasties could and should definitely revoke her six pack license and her 100 ton license.

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    6. Behavior like this can get people shot.

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    7. Her daddy cant save her when it is all on video she is screwed

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  7. “The AST are more of a political tool than the FBI is”
    What at idiotic statement. Your demigod got busted with top secret documents he lied about having. The blue lives matter party.. unless you are trying to enforce the law on our demigod and his family, then you are a political tool. Get a clue

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    1. The Alaska State Troopers might not have the same fealty to the politically connected as Arkansas State Troopers were accused of having in the Troopergate scandal, but it would certainly be unwise for a Coastie administrator to risk getting busted back to an E-3 by taking action against a politically connected individual from the in-favor group in the present day.

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    2. What's it like? Having a man live rent free in your head like that- what's it like?

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    3. "What at (sic) idiotic statement".
      Please don't worry about the FBI's reputation is being sullied. That ship has sailed.

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  8. I am glad this incident was captured on video! Can't see who was driving but the boat owner should be heavily fined and thrown in jail.

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  9. In Alaska you can carry without a license.. just sayin'. That would be self defense if this boat is used as a deadly weapon.

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    1. Lived and flew all over Alaska from 1974 until 2006. Let me assure you this type of behavior can and will get you killed.

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  10. Someone needs to remove that crazy bich from society before she kills someone (or some PEOPLE).

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    1. Hold short on that until someone confirms that she was driving the boat and it wasn't someone else from her business behaving badly at the helm.

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    2. Whoever was driving could soon acquire two to the chest and one to the head.

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  11. The propeller hit the water on one of the passes!

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    1. Does anyone know if the prop striking the wake means an engine teardown inspection needs to be performed?

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    2. I'm not sure that would qualify as a prop strike. My brief googol search didn't find an FAA mandated definition of a prop strike; however, different engine manufacturers seem to have a similar definition of what constitutes a prop strike. In short, a propeller striking a "soft" medium such as water, grass etc. that does not cause prop damage would be designated a prop strike if it caused a loss of engine RPM.

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  12. Willful reckless endangerment is quite obvious. While we don't know all the motivations for the actions of the boat driver, they are irrelevant as the multiple dangerous passes on the airplane put all the float plane occupants at risk.

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  13. What an idiot!!!! Jail time needs to be served, and Heavily Fined, endangered many lives, and a very stupid intentional move

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    1. WoW, i just watched the 2nd video from this incident and this Moron went across in front of this plane SEVEN times. ALL of this persons Licenses and Privileges need to be Revoked.

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  14. About a half dozen rounds at the waterline would have changed this situation immediately.

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    1. Trip advisor review from a passenger would go viral. "Our pilot, encountering a belligerent boater, pulled out a large pistol...."

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  15. Wow, you think the FAA has some rules, you ought to see what happens when you turn your airplane into a boat! Maritime rules are old and worldwide. I do believe that careless vessel operation would fall under right of way when under weigh and Inland Harbor rules. Lakes and Rivers as well as International rules address similar 'burdened vessel' right of way scenarios. Could have been a very nasty outcome.. Can't fix stupid.

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  16. Imagine what the boat owner would do if the cove had this there:

    https://www.capecodtimes.com/story/news/2022/09/14/gov-ron-desantis-sends-undocumented-immigrants-to-marthas-vineyard-unannounced/10383220002/

    !!!! Worthy of it's own KR listing??

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  17. I recommend contacting the alleged captain of the boat by email and letting her know what you think 🤷

    https://thesaltryrestaurant.com/halibut-cove

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  18. This massive TWIT of a Karen needs to be eaten by a Grizzly!! GROW THE F UP!!

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