Two families from Greenville, SC are among the 10 victims who died last weekend in an Alaska plane crash. According to authorities, five members of the Antonakos family and four members of the McManus family died in the crash along with the pilot. The accident left the Antonakos mom, dad and three young children dead along with the mother, father and two teenage children in the McManus family.
Investigators say the families usually vacationed together each year in Myrtle Beach, but decided to travel to Alaska this year for a change of scenery. According to the accident report, the sightseeing plane carrying the group, a de Havilland DHC3 Otter, went down just after 11 a.m. on Sunday in Soldotna, Alaska.
Investigators believe the plane went down shortly after taking off. Witnesses say the plane caught on fire and was fully engulfed shortly thereafter. One aviation expert who was on the scene said he believed either overloading or an electrical malfunction was to blame for the deadly crash. The expert says the flames are common in takeoff crashes due to the large amount of fuel onboard the aircraft.
Any time any aircraft goes down, investigators must consider dozens of factors. Some of the biggest factors for small plane accidents include bad weather, improper maintenance and design flaws or defects with the plane or its components. Discovering which problem caused the deadly Alaska crash may take many months and distraught family members will likely be anxiously awaiting word from investigators.
Though Alaska has the largest number of small aircraft registered of any state and thus a correspondingly high number of small plane accidents, the fact is such crashes can take place anywhere, even here in North Carolina. If you or a member of your family got hurt in a plane crash, consider downloading this free report to begin learning about your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Here's a Google Map showing the remote location of the recent deadly airplane crash: