An fatal ariplane accident resulted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, when a high-winged Cessna and a Cessna 175 collided midair near the mouth of the Big Susitna River in Alaska. According to the Anchorage Daily News, the collision resulted in the death of 56-year-old pilot James Poelman of Wasilla, Alaska. Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Alaska Region, reported that Poelman worked for Spernak Airways, a company based at Merrill Field inAnchorage.
Fortunately, the pilot of the Cessna 175 executed an emergency landing on a runway at Anchorage’s Lake Hood Seaplane Base despite that his left landing gear had been completely sheared off the plane and walked away without injury. The pilot reported to investigators that he had been nearly “nose to nose” with the other plane moments before impact. KTVA posted photos and a video of the emergency landing.
This collision, like another recent collision in 2016 near Russian Mission, has catastrophic consequences including the death of an airplane occupant. In the 2016 midair collision between a Ravn Censsa 208 and a Renfro’s Alaska Adventure Super Cub, five people were killed. In that collision, investigators found that the “automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast” (ADS-B) system on the Cessna was transmitting its location but was not receiving any information from other planes. The ADS-B technology allows pilots to broadcast their locations and to receive information on the position of other nearby aircraft that are equally equipped with the technology. But, according to KTUU reporting, even if the ADS-B system had been functioning normally on that fateful day in August of 2016, the Super Cub was not equally equipped with the technology.
Despite that the Federal Aviation Administration intends to mandate the ADS-B technology in planes flying in designated airspace by 2020, according to KTUU reporting, “the only designated airspace in Alaska will be the Anchorage International airspace.” Because planes can fly around the designated airspace, even if leaving from Lake Hood, many Alaskan pilots will continue to fly without the ADS-B technology.
The NTSB has not yet issued any written preliminary findings regarding the June 13, 2018 midair collision, and there has not yet been any determination whether the aircraft involved possessed the ADS-B technology. But, KTUU reported that between 2011 and September 2016, Alaska had seen 7 midair collisions, and it is clear that the count continues to rise.
If you or your loved one has been injured or killed in an aviation accident, contact the aviation accident attorneys at Power & Power Law right away. Our attorneys have a combined 30 years experience litigating catastrophic physical injuries and wrongful deaths caused by plane crashes and they are committed to discovering the truth and obtaining full compensation for clients. Call Power & Power Law today at 907-222-9990 for a free case consultation, or complete the contact form below so we can get in touch with you.