No one injured when Yute’s plane burns down after emergency landing in Bethel
As smoke filled the cockpit, the pilot of a Yute Commuter Service plane turned around after taking off Saturday night from Bethel and made an emergency landing, authorities said.
The Cessna 207 took off just before 6 p.m. and landed again within minutes, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
“They smelled like smoke at first, then smoke in the cockpit, so they came back immediately,” said Clint Johnson, the agency’s chief for Alaska.
The pilot brought all passengers down to safety before the plane ignited, Johnson said. The aircraft sustained significant damage.
The Cessna was taken off the runway that evening and secured, he said. The cause of the fire was not clear.
A representative for Yute said the company made no comment on Monday.
The air service has been involved in a number of aviation incidents in recent years.
Five people died in a February 2020 Yute Commuter Service plane crash about 12 miles southwest of Tuntutuliak. A preliminary report from the NTSB found the pilot had been with the company for less than a month and took off in low cloud before visibility dropped to half a mile in light snow, haze and snow. freezing fog.
No one was injured when a Yute Piper PA-32 lost power after leaving Aniak Airport in April 2019. The pilot told investigators he observed a loss of pressure from engine oil before heading to the nearest airport at Akiak and landing outside the airport in the tundra, damaging the right wing, according to an investigation file.
In November 2019, a pilot and pilot-in-training were awaiting a rescue in waist-deep water when they crashed into Goodnews Bay after take-off. The pilot reported a loss of engine power, according to an investigation file.
Bethel-based Yute provides scheduled passenger and freight services as well as charter flights to Yukon-Kuskokwim communities, according to its website. The company is operated by Paklook Air.