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Fatal Alaska sightseeing plane crash kills 8 tourists, pilot

Some of the most beautiful areas in this country are best seen from the air. That's likely how some of the passengers on a sightseeing flight felt late last month as they were soaring over the Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska. The eight passengers were in the midst of a 7-day Holland America Line cruise between Seattle and Ketchikan. They were taking a shore excursion offered by the cruise line before heading home.

Investigators still aren't sure what caused the plane to crash in a remote part of southeast Alaska, killing all eight passengers as well as the pilot. The search for the plane, owned by Promech Air, began when the Coast Guard received a report that it was late. The downed plane, a DeHavilland DHC-3 Otter turboprop, was spotted where it had crashed on a cliff that overlooked a lake.

Recovery teams initially had a difficult time getting to the site because of rainy, windy weather conditions. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are currently trying to determine the cause of the fatal crash.

This isn't the first time that a plane carrying tourists has gone done in this area of Alaska. In fact, back in 2007, the federal government implemented safety measures, including weather cameras, after two fatal crashes within a month of each other killed 10 people. Since that time, however, there have been five additional fatal crashes of tourist flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Arizona residents who have lost a loved one in an aviation accident can understandably be overwhelmed with shock and grief. Thus, it can be difficult to make sound decisions about what action to take next.

Until all of the causes of an accident are determined by investigators, you can't know who can and should be held responsible. Therefore, beware of insurers trying to make quick settlements that may help you pay for burial costs and lost wages, but deny you needed compensation later on. Before you accept a settlement from an aviation company's or aircraft manufacturer's insurer, it's essential to get some sound legal advice.

Source: Portland Press Herald, "Nine killed in Alaska tourist plane crash," Becky Bohrer, June 27, 2015

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