'Flying Wild Alaska' Caravan Passengers Describe Crash

Airplane dropped from sky without warning.

Passengers who survived the crash of a Cessna 208 Caravan near St. Mary's, Alaska, over the weekend have told investigators the airplane "dropped out of the sky" without warning during the flight in conditions described as low ceilings and freezing rain.

The pilot and three passengers, one of them a five-month-old baby, were killed in the crash. Rescue efforts were hampered by bad weather as dozens of local residents set out on snowmobiles to try to locate the wreckage after talking with survivors by cellphone.

Six surviving passengers were badly injured with broken bones and cuts but none had life-threatening injuries, according to officials. It took about an hour to locate the crash site, despite rescuers being in “constant contact” with survivors, according to local news reports.

The pilot of the Caravan, 68-year-old Terry Hanson, wasn’t part of the cast of the Discovery Channel program “Flying Wild Alaska,” in which the Era Caravan was featured.

NTSB investigators have reached the crash scene and plan to recover the airplane soon.

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