Funter Bay History: Aircraft Mishaps

While Southeast Alaskan aviation is generally safe and efficient, the sheer number of planes in the area means there are the occasional accidents. Local preference for paint schemes on aircraft runs towards bright colors “so the search party can find it”. (Bright bottom paint is also popular on boats, so you can be found in case you wind up capsized).

Here is a crashed plane that I visited when I was 5 (I’m in the little blue suit!) The damage looks severe, but everyone walked away. This is a Cessna 206 which was bringing a party of hunters back to Juneau, the pieces were later pulled out by a helicopter.

young-2 young-3

Below are a few more aircraft incidents from the Funter Bay area that I was able to compile from public data:

10/4/1979: An aircraft was reported “spiraling down” in the vicinity of Funter Bay, spotted by the fishing vessel Carol Ann. The Coast Guard and State Police located the crash and recovered three bodies. (Daily Sitka Sentinel)

4/29/1985: Piper 32-300 belonging to LAB became trapped between two snow showers, made emergency landing in Funter Pass. Plane damaged but no injuries: http://aircrashed.com/accident/SEA85LA099.shtml

10/29/1985: Amphibious Cessna 206 crashed at Funter Bay. Wheels failed to retract and plane nosed over during water landing. http://aircrashed.com/accident/SEA86LA019.shtml

11/30/1987: Cessna 206 belonging to Channel Flying took off with tailwind and was pushed into trees by downdraft. No injuries (this is the one I have pictures of).

5/25/1992: Piper 32-300 (Air Excursions of Gustavus) clipped a tree in the Funter pass. Was able to land at Juneau:  http://aircrashed.com/aircraft/aANC92LA079.shtml

8/6/1992: Cessna 207 operated by Alaska Juneau Aeronautics crashed in Funter Pass. Pilot turned to avoid cloud and hit mountain. 2 serious injuries.

2/28/2007: Cessna 207 operated by Wings of Alaska made an emergency landing on a beach at Funter after having engine trouble. The plane ran off the beach and sank, but the pilot and passengers were uninjured. An article and photo are here: http://www.kinyradio.com/juneaunews/archives/week_of_02-28-00/juneau_news_02-28-00.html

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