UPDATED: ROGOFF SAYS SHE IS PHYSICALLY OK
The Homer News reports that Alice Rogoff, publisher of the Alaska Dispatch who crashed her plane into saltwater at Halibut Cove, on the Kenai Peninsula, is physically OK.
She reported that she downed her plane at about 5:50 pm on Sunday. The newspaper reports that the National Transportation Safety Board will take over the investigation. Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to the scene, but she had left.
The story is at the Homer News, where Rogoff is quoted saying through her lawyer: “Fortunately she was not hurt and wants to thank all the people in Halibut Cove for their generosity and good spirits. Clem Tillion’s 91st birthday party went on as planned and Ms. Rogoff was delighted to attend.”
On Monday evening, 24 hours after the crash, the Alaska Dispatch posted this terse report.
LAST WEEK A DOCK, THIS WEEK AN EAGLE TREE
Rogoff, infamous for her Alaska political involvement and other adventures as the wife of one of the richest men in the world, was piloting the plane when she reportedly clipped a tree in a landing attempt. She narrowly missed crashing into a house along the bay, then veered wildly before essentially crash landing in the water.
Experienced pilots we spoke to said the NTSB will surely be interviewing people at the events she was attending, as well as taking accounts from bystanders. There were tourists in the area and some posted accounts on Facebook.
As the plane sank quickly in the water, someone on a dock nearby got into a skiff and zipped out to rescue her. Craig Medred writes about more fully about it here.
According to experts, it looks like at least one wing was snapped and landing gear was forced upward, with one pontoon missing. With saltwater inside the engine at this point, the plane is likely a total loss.
Halibut Cove was the site of three festive events this weekend — the wedding of Mead Treadwell and Virginia McClure; former Sen. Clem Tillion’s 91st birthday party; and Independence Day.
Treadwell is a business partner of Rogoff at PT Capital, and Clem Tillion is a friend of the publisher/adventuress.
Weather in the area was high overcast and no wind.
The plane was towed to the beach, and later was lifted off by helicopter, as seen in the photo below, from the Anchorage Press Facebook page.
As for the tree, it contained an eagle’s nest, and we’ve no word on the condition of the national bird in residence there.
Last week, Rogoff was reported to have hit a dock in Halibut Cove with the same plane, damaging the plane but not enough to cause it to be grounded. This time, not only will the plane be grounded, but Rogoff may see her flying privileges suspended as well during the investigation, although it may be too late for drug or alcohol testing.
Rogoff is married to billioniare David Rubenstein, who through his Carlyle Group manages a portion of the Alaska Permanent Fund. The two are not living together. She is being sued by her former Alaska Dispatch editor and founder of the web news site, Tony Hopfinger, who claims she owes him $900,000 and change.