Unalaska mayor declares emergency as flights halt

Following crash, no regular air service expected until Nov. 8

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wynn
An Oct. 17 crash landing at Unalaska’s Tom Madsen Airport left one passenger dead and others injured. (Oct. 17, 2019) Photo courtesy of Jennifer Wynn

Unalaska Mayor Vincent M. Tutiakoff, Sr., has declared a state of emergency following an Oct. 17 plane crash landing.

As a result of the crash, no regularly scheduled commercial air service is expected before Nov. 8, Tutiakoff announced in a Tuesday, Oct. 29 statement. Declaring a state of emergency authorizes the expenditure of municipal funds to alleviate the effects of the air service stoppage and of the accident itself.

Tutiakoff also authorized City Manager Erin Reinders to take any steps necessary to organize up to two charter flights a week to and from Unalaska.

“Locally available private resources available to mitigate and alleviate the effects of the crash are not sufficient to meet the immediate needs of residents and business owners for travel to and from Unalaska including travel critical for medical needs of city residents,” wrote Tutiakoff in a statement.

Flights are expected to resume the week of Nov. 4 following Federal Aviation Administration approval, announced Ravn Air Group in a previous release.  Ravn Air Group owns PenAir, the airline which operated the flight involved in the crash landing.

The accident took place when Alaska Airlines flight 3296 slid partially off the runway at Unalaska’s Tom Madsen Airport while attempting to land. Passenger David Allan Oltman, 38, of Washington state, died following the accident. The Cordova Jr./Sr. High School swim team was also aboard the flight. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the crash.


Read previous Cordova Times coverage:

Oct. 17, 2019: 1 passenger dead in Unalaska plane accident
Oct. 19, 2019: Cordova swim team returns home after plane accident
Oct. 26, 2019: High schoolers recount deadly plane accident