PENAIR

Megan Thomson-Dean

It was a blustery fall day at Tom Madsen Airport. A PenAir flight from Anchorage was making its second attempt to land in Unalaska. Gusting tail-winds made the landing extra challenging. As the plane touched down it failed to slow down, broke through the airport's chain link fence, crossed a road and hit a rocky embankment just short of the frigid waters of Iliuliuk Bay.

Steve Ranney was among the 39 passengers on Flight 3296.  He's a commercial pilot with 20 years experience and still trying to understand what went wrong that day.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

A rebooted version of Ravn airlines will resume scheduled flights to Unalaska and several other Alaska communities in less than a week. Ravn Alaska CEO Rob McKinney says federal authorities granted approvals last Friday.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

Ravn Alaska will return to six Alaska communities on Friday, with regularly scheduled public chartered flights offered by Ravn Travel. 

Tickets are now available for scheduled flights between Anchorage and Unalaska, Sand Point, Homer, Kenai and Valdez, according to Ravn CEO Rob McKinney. 

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

 

Saturday marked the one year anniversary of Unalaska's fatal PenAir plane crash. On October 17 of last year, the Saab 2000 plane went off the end of Tom Madsen Airport's runway. 42 people were on board, over 11 were injured, and one passenger died.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

 

Ravn Alaska says it could resume scheduled flights between Anchorage and Unalaska in two weeks, but there's at least one hurdle left to overcome.

 

On Friday — for the first time since RavnAir Group filed for bankruptcy earlier this year  — a DeHavilland Dash 8 airplane landed on Tom Madsen Airport's short 4,500-foot runway. And the appearance of a Ravn-branded aircraft could be a sign that regular commercial flights between Anchorage and Unalaska are on the horizon.

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