Rate of Alaska fatal plane crashes tops national average

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A federal agency says the rate of fatal airplane crashes in Alaska is higher than the national average.

The Juneau Empire reported Sunday that the National Transportation Safety Board has preliminary reports for 10 fatal plane wrecks in Alaska for the 2019 calendar year.

The figure does not include an Oct. 17 crash in Unalaska, which does not yet have a federal report.

The state had nine fatal accidents last year, eight in 2017, 12 in 2016, and 11 in 2015.

The agency’s website indicates 5.4% of the 221 fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2016 occurred in Alaska, which has about 2% of the national population.

An aviation advocacy organization says conditions that explain the statistics include more landings and takeoffs in harbors or rugged terrain.

Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com