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NTSB will meet Tuesday to determine cause of deadly 2019 mid-air crash near Ketchikan

Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 4:23 PM AKDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 5:39 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -Six people died in a mid-air crash near Ketchikan almost two years ago. The National Transportation Safety Board will meet this Tuesday to determine the cause.

All five people on the Mountain Air Service flight died in the May 13, 2019 crash, while one person on the Taquan Airplane also perished. The pilot and nine others survived.

The five NTSB board members will meet online to review the case submitted by investigators before a final cause of the crash is announced. The public is invited to watch.

“This gives the public, the flying public, and the Alaska public an idea of some of the great work these investigators do,” said Clint Johnson, chief of the Alaska regional office of NTSB. “Go to great, great detail as far as each one of their disciplines.”

The results of most deadly air crashes are released online without a public hearing. Ketchikan is different, as it’s considered a major investigation.

“There’s such factors as the number of fatalities, the public interest, the media,” Johnson said. “But probably more importantly, if it’s something that needs to be highlighted, something that needs vetting in the public, like midairs.”

Major investigations typically take up to 18 months for the NTSB to complete.

“This one took a little bit longer obviously,” said Johnson. “But also the wrinkle of COVID-19 slowed us down a little bit too.”

Tuesday’s hearing starts at 5:30 a.m. Anchorage time. People can find the link on the NTSB homepage.

Johnson stressed you will want to watch the first hour. It will include an animation that details how the collision happened.

Copyright 2021 KTUU. All rights reserved.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that the NTSB will be meeting to determine the cause of a fatal 2019 crash, not to determine blame.