De Havilland Dhc Z3t Otter
August 11, 2010 by staff
De Havilland Dhc Z3t Otter, (CNN) – Alaska Air National Guard rescue teams had to slog for hours by rain, fog and wind to reach the site of the crash that killed former Senator Ted Stevens and four others near Dillingham, Alaska.
As the first helicopter arrived at the scene about 7 am Tuesday – after a four hour flight from elsewhere in the accident and refueling in the air – the wreckage of a vintage red single-engine emerged from the fog, lies in a slope of 40 degrees.
“There was a scar on the hillside where hit and slid down the hill. That was probably about 75 feet long,” said Senior Sgt. Jonathan Davis of the Alaska Air National Guard.
“As we approached the aircraft could smell the fuel. The wings were swept back. The engine compartment of the plane had broken or buried in the earth.”
Workplace conditions were so dangerous that the helicopter could not land, rescue teams had to be winched to the ground, the technical sergeant. Krisofer Abel said.
“The fuselage was surprisingly intact, and that’s where all the survivors and everyone else is,” said Abel.
Eric shadow, a civilian pilot who crashed the DeHavilland DHC-searched Z3T Otter, said the front of the aircraft was apparently cut.
“It was pretty shattered,” he said. “The wings were sitting next to the fuselage on each side, and I could not see the floats, the floats were under him.
“I could not see anything in front of the plane. From the window forward, the roof and everything was gone. The main fuselage and the tail was in one piece, but the wings were off and I could see the engine. I do not think it was survival. ”
Four people, including former NASA administrator, Sean O’Keefe, survived. The other survivors were child O’Keefe, Kevin O’Keefe, a lobbyist Jim Morhard of Alexandria, Virginia, and William “Willy” Phillips Jr., 13.
Died in the crash, in addition to Stevens, a pilot were Theron “Terry” Smith, 62, of Eagle River, Alaska; lobbyist William “Bill” Phillips Sr., of Greater Washington, the father of Willy Phillips, Dana Executive GCI Tindall, 48, of Anchorage, Alaska, and her daughter Corey Tindall, 16.
private pilots in the area saw the first plane and gave authorities the location. Individual good Samaritans were able to reach the place and care for survivors through the night until rescuers arrived in the morning, said Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.
The area was so rough and rocky that a doctor was abandoned at 1,000 meters from the site and had to walk in the National Transportation Safety Board Director Deborah Hersman, said Tuesday.
Five volunteers, including some with medical training, with assistance to survivors and stabilized overnight, authorities said. One of the survivors was out of the fuselage when the doctor arrived.
“There was a lot of selfless work that took place last night and had a lot of people who apply their skills and supporting people who were trapped on the hill,” said Hersman.
“Obviously I do not know what would have happened if they had not been there, but thank the Lord that they were.”
Inside the aircraft “is a messy and wet mess … smell fuel,” Abel, the technical sergeant said.
“The volunteers who had come there and spent the night were exhausted,” he said. “They were wet and dirty and tired themselves. They had been treating these kids overnight.”
Alaska is a large state with few roads, rough terrain and bad weather often, so air travel was both necessary and difficult.
“When you’re flying low on things like this, you’re flying in the mountains, hills, and you have to know where they are,” said Shade, the civilian pilot.
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