ANCHORAGE, AK - Pieces of an air taxi that crashed in Alaska, killing all 10 aboard, have been sent to Washington D.C., and Phoenix as part of the accident investigation.
The parts will be analyzed as National Transportation Safety Board investigators try to determine the cause of the July 7 crash, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The de Havilland DHC 3 Otter crashed and burned shortly after taking off from the airport in Soldotna, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula.
Killed in addition to the pilot, Walter "Willie" Rediske, were two families from Greenville, S.C.: Melet and Kimberly Antonakos and their three children, ages 11 to 16; and Chris and Stacey McManus and their two teenage children.
They died during what was to be the last leg of a 10-day vacation. The families were booked on a flight leaving Soldotna to visit a remote bear-viewing lodge in Chinitna Bay.
A national team of federal investigators left Alaska on Monday after a week spent combing through the wreckage. NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said the agency will not release any new information about the investigation until a preliminary crash report is issued, probably in the next 10 days.
Weiss said the Otter's engine was sent to its manufacturer, Honeywell.
Many Alaska communities are not connected to the state's limited road system, with small planes providing a vital link. Air taxis, which provide nonscheduled commercial flights, provide access to wilderness areas and remote villages.
The de Havilland was similar to an Otter that crashed in Alaska in 2010, killing former U. S. Sen. Ted Stevens and four others.