After the ordeal of rescuing the three occupants from the Servant Air crash in Kodiak Monday, it’s now the investigators turn to determine the cause.
Larry Lewis is the lead investigator on this case for the National Transportation Safety Board. He said a Federal Aviation Administration investigator is examining records and the wreckage in Kodiak, and will report back to him with his findings. Lewis said the investigation will not be different or more detailed just because this is Servant Air’s second crash in Kodiak in just over two years.
— (Servant 1 26 sec "It won’t change the … just because it’s a second.")
A Servant Air Navajo Chieftain crashed in January 2008 into the water off the other end of the main runway, killing six, including the pilot.
One of the obstacles to getting the pilot and two passengers out of the Britten-Norman Islander aircraft appears to have been the amount of cargo in the plane preventing easy evacuation. Lewis said the investigation will look into if the plane was overloaded, or if cargo -reportedly including a four-wheeler – was not securely tied down.
— (Servant 2 31 sec "That’s one of the things … or what it is.")
Lewis said there are no known issues with the Islander model aircraft:
— (Servant 3 24 sec "Actually there’s a number … a pretty durable machine.")
The plane was taking off to the west and crashed into the trees across Rezanof Drive, closing the road for several hours. The Islander came to rest nose-down, just touching the ground. Coast Guard Fire Department Assistant Chief Mike McDonnell said the trees likely saved the lives of the three people on board, because if they had crashed on open ground, the impact would have been greater. Lewis agreed:
— (Servant 4 22 sec "That’s a distinct possibility … injuries to the passengers.")
The pilot was identified by the Alaska State Troopers as 37-year-old Jason Lobo. The passengers were Zora and Martin Inga of Old Harbor. None suffered life-threatening injuries.