Alaska State Troopers have named the four people on board a flightseeing plane that crashed on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska and injured them all, two of them seriously.
"The pilot was identified as Charlie Kenlin, 65, of Florida," troopers wrote in an update on the crash Wednesday evening. "The passengers were Martin Lakey, 37, Michael D. Lakey, 65 and Rich Webster, 65, all of Washington."
The U.S. Coast Guard told AST at about noon Wednesday that an emergency locator transmitter from a de Havilland Beaver -- flown by Ketchikan-based tour operator Promech Air -- had been activated near Thorne Bay, troopers wrote in a Wednesday dispatch.
“Investigation determined (the plane) went down in the trees near the southern end of Lake Galea due to engine complications,” troopers wrote. “Two of the four people on board were flown via a USCG helicopter to the Ketchikan General Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”
AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen says troopers weren’t immediately aware of the extent of the injuries Wednesday afternoon. She says the helicopter crew had to leave the plane’s other two occupants with minor injuries at the crash site, with a return flight later made to pick them up.
“It was at capacity, because it was a helicopter and they had weight restrictions, so they flew the two injured and came back for the other two,” Ipsen said.
Promech Air didn’t have immediate comment on the incident Wednesday afternoon.
Troopers say the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified of the crash.
Contact Chris Klint