Civil Air Patrol Pilot Crashes On Take-Off


By Foxtrot Charlie | AuxBeacon News Contributor

[Editor’s Note: We received an anonymous tip regarding this crash. Thank you for your contribution. This plane crash in Alaska was attributed to pilot error.]


Ketchikan, Alaska (AP) — Eight persons were killed, but a ninth survived when a plane plunged into the sea shortly after takeoff from a logging camp on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, 80 miles northwest of Ketchikan Saturday.

State police said the pilot had picked up a passenger at the Sawyer-Reynolds Company logging camp at Deweyville. They said the single-engine float plane was about 200 feet high when it nosed over and dived into the water about 300 feet offshore.

A spokesman for Simpson Air Service, Ketchikan, which owned the plane, identified the dead as Alfred M. White, 31, Ketchikan, the pilot; Gary M. Bardell, 26, Saohomish, WA, another pilot who had just joined the company and was on a familiarization flight; Diana K. SMITH, wife of the postmaster at Port Alexander on Baranol Island 50 miles west of Deweyville, and her 5-year-old daughter, Summer; Charles W. Hale, 27, Ketchikan, a logger at the camp, Theodore K. Sprague, 56, and Richard M. Everman, 49, both of Ketchikan, partners in a drilling company. The latter two had been working at the logging camp.

The pilot, Alfred M. White was an active member of the Alaska Wing, Civil Air Patrol.

The identity of the eighth was not immediately available. A diver recovered seven bodies from the wreckage. Two persons, including the lone survivor, LEO Beminghoff, 57, a prospector from Port Alexander, were thrown from the plane. Beminghoff was listed as in serious condition at a hospital in Ketchikan

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