Plane crash fatalities triple in 2013

ANCHORAGE — The number of plane crash fatalities in Alaska has more than tripled this year, yet the number of light plane crashes has fallen. As of Tuesday, there were 32 fatalities in crashes this year in the state.

Clint Johnson, head of the Alaska region for the National Transportation Safety Board Alaska, told KSKA that compares to 10 fatalities on the same date last year.

Of the 32 people killed this year, 10 were in one plane that crashed just after taking off from Soldotna in July.

Last year, the NTSB says there were 98 accidents by Sept. 10. This year, there have been 85 accidents.

Johnson said there tends to be more crashes in the spring and fall.

Just this week, an experimental home-build airplane crashed in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, killing the pilot and injuring a passenger. Another plane is missing over the Gulf of Alaska.

The numbers aren’t yet final for this year. The NTSB counts a calendar year that runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.