The investigation into a deadly crash involving an Alaska Air flight is being closely monitored due to the stakes being at a heightened level. This is according to the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Robert Sumwalt, who is leading the inquiry into the incident.
The incident occurred on May 28th, 2021, when an Alaska Air (ASA) flight crashed near Ketchikan, Alaska. The aircraft, known as Flight 144, was en-route from Seattle to Metlakatla when it encountered difficulties. The flight was estimated to be carrying two dozen passengers and crew when it came down in a wooded area near the town.
NTSB chairman Sumwalt has commented that his team is “bringing all of its investigative expertise to bear” in the inquiry into the incident. He went on to describe the “challenging circumstances” that the investigation faces, stating that “the goal is to determine the cause of the accident, and the lessons that can be learned from it.”
The initial prognosis from the NTSB is that the incident was likely caused by a combination of mechanical failure and human error. The spokesperson for the agency has stated that further testing will need to be conducted to ascertain whether this was truly the case.
The inquiry will focus heavily on interviewees from the passengers and crew which survived the crash, as well as witnesses from the area who saw the plane coming down. Any aviation-based organisations involved in the incident will also be held accountable.
The chairman of the NTSB has made a point of being upfront and honest with members of the press. He has made it clear that the investigation will be rigorous and that all avenues of the case will be explored and thoroughly examined. He also stressed the importance of ensuring that the findings from this inquiry are put into action to ensure that similar incidents never occur in the future.
This incident received worldwide attention due to the horrific nature of events. Additionally, all passengers and crew involved in the crash walked away with only minor injuries. The NTSB inquiry is set to reveal more details as to what precautions can be taken in the future to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. The stakes are certainly at a heightened level; the lives of passengers and crew are depending upon the findings of this inquiry and demand the utmost attention.