Alaska Air National Guard rescues 6 plane crash victims near Port Alsworth

  • Published
  • By David Bedard
  • 176th Wing Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guard rescue personnel of 176th Wing rescued six plane crash victims June 10 near Port Alsworth about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The DHC-2 Beaver aircraft crashed in a heavily wooded area of the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, prompting the National Park Service to request hoist-capable helicopter support from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at JBER.

An SOS from the pilot’s satellite communication device correlated with the Beaver’s 406-megahertz emergency locator transmitter’s activation on impact, prompting the AKRCC to request support from 176th Wing.

Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Miles Brodsky, 176th Wing search and rescue duty officer, dispatched a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk with 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel personnel recovery Airmen onboard.

Once on scene, the HH-60 inserted the Guardian Angels on the ground nearby the crash site. The GA’s medically assessed two injured occupants before bringing the party onto the Pave Hawk.

The HH-60 crew transported the four uninjured occupants to Port Alsworth where they were released to NPS Rangers before transporting the injured occupants to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage where they were released to medical officials.

Brodsky stressed the importance of upgrading from older 121.5-megahertz ELTs and keeping 406-megahertz ELT registrations up to date.

“The 406s give our search and rescue aircrews a far more accurate fix on the signal,” Brodsky said. “For aircraft owners who have a 406 ELT, it’s vitally important to keep the registration current, so we have up-to-date aircraft information and we can call a good emergency contact.”