An Alaska floatplane company has suspended its operations, after its planes were involved in two fatal crashes in one week.
The pilot and a passenger of a Taquan Air plane died Monday afternoon when the plane crashed in Metlakatla Harbor, south of Ketchikan. That incident followed a mid-air collision on May 13 between a Taquan Air plane and one operated by Mountain Air Service that was carrying passengers from a cruise ship. Six people – one of them from the Taquan plane - perished in that crash, and ten were rescued.
Taquan Air issued a statement that it has voluntarily suspended all of our operations until further notice. The company, which has been serving tourists in Southeast Alaska for four decades, cites its safety culture on its website.
“Taquan Air’s safety culture is woven into everything we do. It starts with our commitment to best-in-industry safety standards. Taquan Air has been a Five Star-Certified Medallion Shield Carrier since 2008, signifying the airline has exceeded the FAA’s safety requirements.”
The company said it keeps its “state-of-the-art equipment up to the highest standards for safety.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incidents.