North

1 killed, 4 injured when Alaska flight aborted during takeoff

A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured on Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted.

Joseph Patenella, 57, died and one of his three children was critically injured

In this May 24, 2015 file photo, a vehicle drives on a pier in Homer, Alaska. Seven people were aboard the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver at the mouth of Tutka Bay near Homer when the flight aborted takeoff. (The Associated Press)

A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed on Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted.

Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. One of his three children was critically injured and flown to Anchorage for treatment.

Seven people were aboard the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver at the mouth of Tutka Bay near Homer. The others who were on the floatplane appear to have non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

Patenella was travelling with his wife and three children as well as an adult male relative, according to officials at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer.

Hospital spokeswoman Derotha Ferraro said Patenella died before arriving at the facility.

The mother, the critically injured child and a second child were flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Ferraro said.

Patenella was travelling with his wife and three children as well as an adult male relative, according to officials at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. (The Associated Press)

The third child and the pilot were treated and released, Ferraro said. Troopers say the pilot, Engjell Berisha, was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane crashed under unknown circumstances on takeoff. Coast Guard Petty Officer Amanda Norcross, however, said the manager of a nearby lodge reported the aircraft never left the water.

Troopers said a patrol boat transported all on board to Homer, where the injured people were taken to the hospital.

FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said his agency and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

The plane is owned by Anchorage-based Rust's Flying Service. The passengers were guests at Tutka Bay Lodge, said Bri Kelly, a spokeswoman on behalf of the flying service. She said the company has suspended its operations and is cooperating with authorities.

The company and Tutka Bay Lodge are "devastated" by the death and focusing on helping guests, family, workers and first responders, according to a joint statement. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.