On Tuesday May 24, 2022 at approximately 3:00 pm, a Yakutat Coastal Airlines DHC-3 Otter was involved in a serious accident as it approached to land at a rural airstrip (Dry Bay Airport 3AK) 47 miles southeast of Yakutat. While one passenger received minor injuries, the pilot and two passengers were seriously injured, and were required to be airlifted by the Coast Guard from the scene to Yakutat airport, and then on to Anchorage.
The cause of the accident is currently not known, and the NTSB has released no details on why the aircraft failed to reach its destination. However, some reports indicate an inflight emergency may have caused the aircraft to crash short of the runway. The Dry Bay airport runway is 3700 feet long, 170 feet wide, lined with 40+ foot trees on both sides, and is owned by Glacier Bay National Park.
The accident DHC-3 Otter (N703TH) is a unique aircraft because it is the first DHC-3 in the world to transition from a Czech-built Walter M601 turbine engine to a GE H80 Turbine engine. In 2019, a similarly equipped DHC-3 (C-GBTU) suffered a mechanical failure causing its right wing to come off during an approach to a remote airport in Canada killing all three occupants.
Aviation Law Group has experience with aviation investigations and accidents in Alaska, and numerous accidents involving de Havilland aircraft. Members have flown de Havilland planes including the Beaver (DHC-2). We recently represented numerous victims of an inflight mid-air collision involving a Beaver and an Otter, both of which were on scenic air tour flights near Ketchikan, Alaska.
The remote nature of operations in Alaska requires a heightened set of safety, maintenance, and operation standards for Part 135 charter operators. ALG attorney Robert Hedrick is a licensed attorney in Alaska. If you or a loved one has been injured in an aviation accident, please reach out to our team at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 251-5915