NTSB investigators this week are working toward recovering the wreckage of an aircraft that crashed Thursday, August 5, 2021 about 12 miles northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska near the Misty Fjords National Monument. The pilot was flying the aircraft back to Ketchikan with five passengers on Thursday following a tour of Misty Fjords National Monument when it crashed, Clint Johnson, chief of the NTSB Alaska region said.
Johnson said that the wreckage is located in a rugged, steep area that is heavily forested, 1,800 feet to 2,000 feet “up on the side of a mountain.” Weather has been an issue, according to Johnson.
The aircraft — a Southeast Aviation de Havilland Beaver float plane [Google Images] — was carrying five passengers and the pilot when it crashed. The Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad (KVRS) recovered the six bodies discovered in the crash. The Alaska State Troopers released the identities of the pilot as Rolf Lanzendorfer, 64, of Cle Elum, Washington; and the passengers as Mark Henderson, 69, and Jacquelyn Komplin, 60, both of Napa, California; Andrea McArthur, 55, and Rachel McArthur, 20, both of Woodstock, Georgia; and Janet Kroll, 77, of Mount Prospect, Illinois.
A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, and ground, boat, and air crews from the Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Forest Service, and KVRS responded to the incident.
— US Coast Guard
The KVRS, U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and the U.S. Forest Service responded to an activated Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from the aircraft on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:20 a.m. local time. The US Coast Guard located the wreckage at 2:37 p.m. Thursday. However, because of rugged terrain, the bodies were not recovered until Saturday.
UPDATE: NTSB to recover plane wreckage after deadly Alaska crash https://t.co/FlcSnEwN1l
— Talk 1370 (@TALK1370) August 8, 2021
KVRS chartered a Hughes 369D helicopter from Temsco to work to recover the bodies after the crash. Alaska State Troopers and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad personnel arrived at the crash site via the chartered Temsco helicopter about 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 7, 2021, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety State Troopers Public Information Office. The bodies were recovered and transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. Next of kin were notified. The NTSB assisted and will be investigating the cause of the crash.
The names of the deceased are as follows:
Mark Henderson, age 69, of Napa, CA
Jacquelyn Komplin, age 60, of Napa, CA
Andrea McArthur, age 55, of Woodstock, GA
Rachel McArthur, age 20, of Woodstock, GA
Janet Kroll, age 77, of Mount Prospect, IL
Pilot- Rolf Lanzendorfer, age 64, of Cle Elum, WA
— SOURCE: Alaska State Troopers
Poor visibility and deteriorating weather hampered aerial search efforts for part of the afternoon Thursday, but at approximately 2:37 p.m., the US Coast Guard discovered the crash site in a steep mountainous area near Misty Fjords; all six occupants of the aircraft were deceased. The Coast Guard reported that an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Sitka located the wreckage at 2:37 p.m. and lowered two rescue swimmers who reported no survivors, according to the United States Coast Guard. The Alaska State Troopers and volunteers from the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad planned coordinated recovery efforts of the deceased from the crash site Thursday and Friday, and recovered the bodies on Saturday. The NTSB was notified and will be investigating the cause of the crash.
As fog and reduced visibility delayed initial aerial search efforts on Thursday, weather conditions also hampered efforts to recover the wreckage of the Southeast Aviation de Havilland Beaver float plane (N1249K) Saturday and Sunday. According to FAA records, the 1965 DEHAVILLAND DHC-2 MK.I fixed wing, single engine aircraft with 8 seats was owned by Snow Mount Enterprises LLC out of Ketchikan, Alaska. The FAA Registry expired 6/30/2021, according to the FAA Registry for the aircraft.
A helicopter will be necessary to lift the wreckage, and efforts to recover the aircraft were scheduled to resume on Monday, August 9, 2021.
Janet Kroll, Mt Prospect
Alaska and Hawaii were on Janet Kroll’s bucket list during retirement, and on August 2, 2021 she posted at 3:53 p.m., “I finally made it to Alaska! Hooray!” Janet Kroll and her family were attempting to go to Alaska together, but her son and daughter in-law were unable to get away from work at the same time. Janet Kroll decided to take the trip on her own, according to her daughter in-law, Wendie Fuller. She was especially looking forward to seeing whales, mountains and other scenery. Janet Kroll was inspired to visit Alaska years ago when her son was in the US Navy and assigned to serve out of Alaska. Wendie Fuller told CARDINAL NEWS, “She was amazing. She loved life.”
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Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness is about 45 miles northeast of the Ketchikan International Airport and the City of Ketchikan.