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Alaska plane crash may have resulted from mechanical error

Alaska residents are no strangers to small planes and helicopters transporting both people and supplies into the more remote areas of the state. As a result, the news of a small plane crash is perhaps more common that in other areas of the country. One recent accident took the life of the pilot and may have been the result of a serious mechanical error.

Witnesses who saw the small plane take off expressed concern over the erratic flight path. Upon leaving the runway, the plane continued in a nose-up position and did not attain a leveled-off flight path. As two witnesses watched, the plane steadily climbed before pitching back down toward the ground with the nose pointed down. The plane crashed, killing the 61-year-old pilot, the aircraft's only occupant.

According to mechanical records, the plane had been undergoing a major overhaul for several years. Reportedly, NTSB Investigators found evidence that the cables controlling the lift of the aircraft were connected backwards. While the pilot was believed to have attempted to fly the plane correctly, the controls would have responded in the opposite manner.

An airplane mechanic verified the findings that the controls were rigged incorrectly and that the plane would not have responded in the anticipated manner. While the investigation into this Alaska plane crash has not been completed, the initial results point to a gross mechanical problem and not pilot error. In light of this evidence, the family of the pilot may choose to explore the viability of filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties that may have been responsible for the apparent mechanical error. Indeed, it appears that the plane may not have been flown during the approximately five-year time period that the overhaul took place.

Source:, "NTSB report: Mechanical problem discovered in plane that crashed at Merrill Field", Colleen Mondor, July 8, 2014

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