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NTSB plans to start wreckage recovery Sunday following the deadly plane crash near Ketchikan

A photo of the Southeast Aviation plane that crashed Thursday. The photo is from a viewer who...
A photo of the Southeast Aviation plane that crashed Thursday. The photo is from a viewer who went on a trip with the company in 2019.(Heather Holt)
Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 9:07 AM AKDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2021 at 3:47 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The National Transportation Safety Board says Sunday’s goal is to get the wreckage out of the accident site of the deadly plane crash near Ketchikan.

“So today all their efforts are going to be set on trying to get the wreckage out of the accident site,” said Chief of the NTSB’s Alaska regional office Clint Johnson. “Obviously you know the only way to get the wreckage out of there is by helicopter.”

Johnson went on to say that all the efforts Sunday are weather dependent.

“We do understand the weather is supposed to be worsening over the next day or so,” Johnson added. “So it is a little bit of a race against time.”

He did remain hopeful that the team would be able to get it done.

Saturday night Alaska State Troopers identified the victims as:

  • Rolf Lanzendorfer, 64, of Washington, who was the pilot.
  • Mark Henderson, 69 and Jacquelyn Komplin 60, both of Napa, CA.
  • Andrea McArthur, 55, and Rachel McArthur, 20, both of Woodstock, GA.
  • Janet Kroll, 77, of Mount Prospect, IL.

According to the Associated Press, Kathleen Grayson, Henderson’s sister, told the Napa Valley Register that Henderson and Komplin had sent messages during their trip “talking about how gorgeous” it was in Alaska. “They were having so much fun,” she said.

Related: NTSB to recover plane wreckage after deadly Alaska crash

The U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with state and local agencies is searching for a plane...
The U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with state and local agencies is searching for a plane carrying six people near Ketchikan.(Alaska's News Source)

The plane sent out an emergency beacon around 11:20 a.m. Thursday. By just after 2:30 p.m., a Coast Guard helicopter crew had found the wreckage in a steep, mountainous area of the Misty Fjords and confirmed all six people had died.

NTSB, AST and other organizations originally planned on getting boots on the ground Friday but the weather in the area halted their plans.

Saturday an NTSB investigator, along with personnel from the Alaska State Troopers and Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad, were able to fly over the accident site. Hours later the recovery team was able to make their way onto the crash site and recover the six victims.

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