Washington man died in Unalaska PenAir crash - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Washington man died in Unalaska PenAir crash

Pen Air crash

A 38-year-old man from Wenatchee has been identified as the passenger who died when PenAir Flight 3296 from Anchorage ran off the end of the runway in Unalaska on Thursday at about 5:41 pm, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

The plane was on its second approach as it attempted to land, coming to rest on some jetty rocks at the edge of Captain’s Bay. Although the aircraft didn’t catch fire, either a propeller or debris came through the port side and killed passenger David Allan Oltman. He is the husband of a teacher in Wenatchee and he is a father.

The Unalaska airport runway is not damaged, and will be reopened as soon as the PenAir plane is pulled off the rocks at the end of the runway.

The State of Alaska owns the Unalaska Airport, along with about 240 other airports in Alaska.

The FAA cameras at the airport that point toward the runway have not been operational for at least 24 hours. That will be one of the many data points that investigators look at when they begin to survey the accident. The National Transportation and Safety Board is sending nine people to the scene.

The runway was not damaged and will be open as soon as the plane is removed, the City of Unalaska reports, and the road at the end of the runway will also open soon.

PenAir provided a statement (video link to entire statement here):

It is with deep sorrow that we have confirmed that one of our critically injured passengers from PenAir Flight 3296 passed away last night.

“On behalf of PenAir, Ravn Air Group and all our employees throughout the company, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and loved ones of our passenger who passed away,” said Dave Pflieger, President RavnAir Group.

Our entire team is devastated by this tragic incident. The thoughts of all 1,300 of our employees are with those who were hurt or affected.

(Randy Batten photo from social media). Original story:

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Suzanne, I have been speaking with ADN all day. The plane crash at Dutch Harbor was not operated by Peninsula Airways, Inc. which I founded in 1955. We went through a bankruptcy some six months ago, and the new owners are a Lehman Corp from back east. They also own Ravn Air, and chose Ravn to operate our operation under the name Peninsula Aviation Services. These two pilots were not former Peninsula Airways employees, and certainly never went through our rigorous training program. So I am vigorously opposing the use of the DBA “Penair” to blame for this accident. I do appreciate and read your articles, thank you Orin Seybert

  • Thank you Orin. I know the airline you founded and operated had an excellent safety record and top notch employees.

  • I don’t have to vouch for Orin. The Alaskan aviation history books and his reputation speak for themselves. I have flown with his pilots many many times down to perryville country and they are second to none. Paul, Lloyd Georgie and Billy are the best I’ve ever seen.

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