Alaskan skies–What is happening?

On Sunday, August 1st, another airplane crash was reported in Alaska.  People might be saying, “What is happening there?” 

The news reports of crashes started on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010. According to reports, a small single-engine airplane (Cessna 206) clipped the roof of a motel just before crashing into the street in front of a local business. One child died and four other passengers were injured. The 5pm crash caused an explosion that engulfed a nearby business in flames. A crowd, including a soldier,  rushed to help the victims get out of the plane.

Friday, June 6th, 2010. A Cessna 180  single engine plane went down, landing safely onto a highway 20 miles north of Anchorage. The veteran pilot, and only occupant of the plane, safely landed his plane of 35 years and suggested that  mechanical failure was to blame. He referred to a hole in the top of the engine and suggested a busted rod might have been thrown from the  engine.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010. A U.S. Air Force cargo plane , the C-17 Globemaster,  went down Wednesday evening in a wooded area near an airfield in Anchorage. The plane prized for its reliability and maneuverability was practicing for an airshow at Elmendorf Air Force Base according to Air Force officials. Three of the victims were Air National Guardsmen and the fourth was on active duty at Elmendorf Air Force Base. All four airmen perished.

US Air Force C17. Photo courtesy of US Air Force.

Sunday, August 1st, 2010. 180 miles north of Anchorage in Denali National Park  a Fairchild C-123 (cargo plane)    crashed into  Mount Healy. Reports suggest the airplance crashed at around 3pm near the eastern edge of the park. The crash claimed the lives of three men.

The FAA is investigating these crashes. Final reports are pending. Many prayers go out to those families who’ve lost loved ones as a result of these and other crashes.

 In late June, a new system using core technology under NextGen was officially adopted to improve air transportation safety and efficiency in Alaska’s rugged terrain. The system  is called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).  NextGen is an umbrella term for a comprehensive transformation of our national airspace system. The goal is to make air travel more convenient and dependable, while ensuring  safe and secure flights.  Last year, the FAA reported 100 airplane incidents and crashes in Alaska–not all crashes resulted in fatalities. Air travel is the primary means of transportation in Alaska, and the FAA has made claims that the system is already making air travel safer there. 

Hoping and praying this system makes a drastic difference in national air safety, and that the souls of the departed are at rest…

Kerstin

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