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Alaska Float Plane Crash Was Result of Corrosion

Posted on September 20 2008

The crash that killed a guide, pilot and two anglers on their way to Alaska’s Royal Wulff Lodge last year was caused by corrosion in the wing, according to a federal accident report. Unfortunately, this kind of corrosion would be undetectable without removing the wings, so the FAA sent a special bulletin on Sept. 9 to all operators of the type of plane involved — the Helio Courier. “[Royal Wulff co-owner Chris] Branham said he bought the plane from legendary Bush pilot Lowell Thomas in the 1980s, and his lodge uses three other Helio Couriers. The reason his company chose this type of plane for the lodge was its reputation as one of the safest in the world, he said.” Elizabeth Bluemink in the Anchorage Daily News.

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