10 Killed in Alaska Air Taxi Crash

Soldotna crash is state's deadliest in decades

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 8, 2013 12:40 AM CDT | Updated Jul 8, 2013 2:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – All nine passengers and a pilot were killed yesterday in Alaska's worst aviation accident in more than 25 years. A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter air taxi crashed just after 11am at the airport in Soldotna, around 75 miles southwest of Anchorage, the AP reports. The aircraft was operated by Rediske Air, an air charter company whose owner, Walter Rediske, was the pilot killed in the crash.

When fire crews reached the airport, "the aircraft was crashed off the side of the runway and it was fully involved in flames" which took around 10 minutes to extinguish, an emergency services spokeswoman tells the Anchorage Daily News. The aircraft crashed on take-off but there were no witnesses to the crash, she says. A National Transportation Safety Board investigative "go-team" from Washington, DC, is on its way to the crash site.

Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains the aircraft at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska.
Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains the aircraft at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Rashah McChesney)
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