No injuries in Yute Commuter Service crash near Bethel

Yute Commuter Service plane crash
A Yute Commuter Service Cessna 207 lost power and landed on the tundra four miles south of Napaskiak on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. All of the passengers were unhurt and were picked up by another Yute plane which landed on a nearby lake. (Courtesy photo)

Alaska State Troopers report that no one was injured in a Yute Commuter Service (YCS) plane accident about 10 miles south of Bethel on Sunday.

Troopers say that a preliminary investigation showed that the YCS Cessna 207 lost engine power and crashed while on its way from Goodnews Bay to Bethel. Six passengers were on board the plane.

Clint Johnson leads the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska office, which is investigating the crash further.

“We’re still trying to determine, number one, what caused the engine failure. Number two is the extent of the damage to the airplane,” Johnson said.

Robert Rey is the safety compliance manager at YCS. The company chartered a flight to respond to the crash; Rey said that was a faster response than the Alaska State Troopers, who weren’t able to get to the scene right away. He said that the pilot of that flight was able to find a place to land safely near the crash site.

“He coordinated efforts with residents of Napakiak village that had snowmobiles, and we had them go out on snowmobiles and help take the passengers from the aircraft to the frozen lake. And then he was able to pick up all passengers, including crew, and get them back to Bethel safely,” Rey said.

Rey also commended the pilot of the plane that crashed.

“He had an issue. He got the plane down safely. He was able to get everybody home safe and sound,” Rey said.

Johnson said that the National Transportation Safety Board should have preliminary investigation results online late next week.

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