NTSB begins investigation into deadly floatplane crash in Puget Sound

The US Coast Guard confirmed there were 10 people on board the plane at the time of the crash. One victim has been recovered so far.

ISLAND COUNTY, Wash. – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) deployed a team of seven investigators to investigate a fatal plane crash that occurred near Whidbey Island over the weekend.

The United States Coast Guard confirmed the identities of all 10 victims on board. The plane was flying from Friday Harbor to Renton Municipal Airport when it crashed on September 4. One victim has been recovered so far.

The plane that crashed was a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter, a single-engine propeller aircraft National Road Safety Committee (NTSB). The aircraft was operated by Friday Harbor Seaplanes, a service of Northwest Seaplanes.

John Nance is a pilot, Air Force veteran and chartered attorney with decades of experience analyzing crash investigations. He said investigators could begin releasing details in the coming days, but a definitive answer as to what caused the crash could be weeks or months away.

Typically, the NTSB Go team includes experts in operations, structures, power plants, and other components. Most of the time there isn’t just one cause. There can be several factors that contribute to a crash.

The Coast Guard has already traveled 2,100 square nautical miles on a search and rescue mission in search of victims. The NTSB will likely use sonar and other maritime instruments to locate the aircraft and possibly the passengers.

“You should be able to find it [the plane]’ said Nance. “Whether it’s then grabbed to the surface from the bottom up depends on how deep it is, and of course the water right out front of that area is about 350, 400 feet deep — so that might take a while.”

The NTSB also faces obstacles in investigating what went wrong. So far, only a few witnesses have contacted investigators.

Any tips people have about what they saw might help find answers about the crash.

The NTSB will provide an update on the investigation Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. which will be streamed on KING5.com.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/ntsb-floatplane-crash-investigation-whidbey-island/281-563c5d71-777a-4437-833c-b3ceb66d5200 NTSB begins investigation into deadly floatplane crash in Puget Sound

Alley Einstein

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