lifemed alaska

Courtesy of Cole Corbett

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its preliminary report on a medevac airplane that crashed into the waters of Unalaska Bay last month.

While the early findings establish some of the facts surrounding the Jan. 16 crash, the chief of the NTSB's Alaska Regional Office said it's too soon to pinpoint the cause.

Aleutian Aerial

Divers, a tug vessel, and a crane barge crew from Resolve Marine were able to remove a LifeMed medevac plane from Unalaska Bay on Monday. It had been in the water since it crashed near the airport last week.

The three-person air ambulance crew was en route to pick up a medevac patient in Adak when the King Air Beechcraft aircraft went into the water about 100 feet northwest of the end of the Unalaska Airport runway on Jan. 16.

Courtesy of Cole Corbett

The U.S. Coast Guard has reported a fuel sheen about 50 feet wide and 1,500 feet long in Unalaska Bay where a LifeMed medevac plane went into the water Thursday morning.

The King Air Beechcraft aircraft went down about 100 feet northwest of the end of the Unalaska Airport runway with a LifeMed pilot, paramedic, and nurse on board. All three were rescued from a life raft and sustained no serious injuries.

KUCB Contributor

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reports that up to 500 gallons of fuel has spilled into Unalaska Bay following a LifeMed plane crash early Thursday morning.

"An unknown amount of Jet A fuel has been released at this time," said the state agency in a press release. "The fuel capacity of a King Air B200 Aircraft is 545 gallons. The U.S. Coast Guard reports there was an estimated 430-440 gallons of Jet A on board at the time of takeoff." 

Courtesy LifeMed

LifeMed Alaska now provides year round medevac service to the Aleutians.

Previously the air ambulance service operated a seasonal base in Unalaska during commercial fishing seasons and openings.

CEO Russell Edwards said in a statement "given the fact that Dutch Harbor is farther from Anchorage than Chicago is from New York City, decreasing response times during medical emergencies is crucial for patients through the Aleutians and surrounding areas."