Forestry plane with four aboard crashes at takeoff in Aniak

Department of Commerce Photo

An Alaska Division of Forestry plane taking off from Aniak crashed on Thursday evening, injuring all four passengers.

Division of Forestry Spokesperson Tim Mowry said that the plane went down around 4 p.m. in Aniak, a village of about 500 on the Kuskokwim River. A statement on the Division of Forestry blog stated that the injuries were “serious but not life-threatening,” and that the individuals had been transported to hospitals in Anchorage. “The seriousness of the injuries is unknown at this time,” read the statement.

According to the statement, the plane, an Aero Commander 500 Shrike, was transporting a crew of firefighters from two villages to Soldotna to help support initial attacks crews in the area. The Alaska State Troopers wrote in a dispatch that the plane landed in a gravel pit filled with water near the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified of the accident.

This story has been updated with new information

Alaska Public Media’s Lex Treinen contributed to this story

Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at

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