Emergency responders work to rescue the passengers of the Servant Air Islander that crashed Monday afternoon near the Kodiak State Airport. Alaska State Troopers photo
Everyone aboard a small plane that crashed yesterday afternoon in Kodiak are safe after an hours-long ordeal where the plane was standing nose-down in some trees across from the end of the runway.
Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says the plane was a Servant Air Britten-Norman Islander. The pilot was identified as 37-year-old Jason Lobo, and passengers Zora Inga and her husband Martin, ages 39 and 38, of Old Harbor.
One of the Ingas was extracted from the wreckage by 2 p.m. and transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center with unspecified injuries. The other two, reported to be "conscious and alert," remained trapped in the plane until around 3 p.m. when they were freed. The last person out of the plane was Lobo. He reportedly walked out to the road on his own and refused medical treatment.
The crash closed Rezanof Drive where it goes around the west end of the Kodiak State Airport for several hours as Coast Guard emergency personnel worked to stabilize the aircraft and extract the occupants.
Base Assistant Fire Chief Mike McDonnell said the wreck could have been much worst:
— (Crash 2 19 sec "It nosed into the trees … much grimmer situation.")
The other three fire departments in town responded to the accident as well.
Missy Woofter was the second car in line when traffic was stopped after the crash. She said via cell phone as she was leaving the scene that the road to Devil’s Creek was cleared of snow and traffic was rerouted across the west end of the runway around the accident while emergency personnel continued to work at the crash site.
— (Crash 3 37 sec "I waited for about an h our … I was driving away.")
A crane and a boom truck were later seen removing the plane from the wooded hillside. The National Transportation Safety Board is expected in town to investigate the accident.
In January 2008 a Servant Air Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed into the water off the other end of the main Kodiak runway, killing six, including the pilot. The cause of that accident was determined to be a faulty latch on a front-end baggage compartment, which caused the door to fly open shortly after take-off.