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Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

Survivors of plane crash help investigators

January 7, 2008

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— A chartered plane that crashed into a shallow harbor after taking off from Kodiak Island, killing six people, was carrying a group of fishermen from a dissident sect of the Russian Orthodox Church home for Christmas.

Four people survived the crash Saturday, and one of them told investigators that the door to a baggage compartment in the nose of the small plane had popped open.

"We want to look at the aerodynamic qualities of opening a very large door in flight," Clint Johnson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said Sunday. "This does not signal an end of our investigation of the crash by any means, but it at least played a part in it."

The Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain crashed about 50 yards off the end of a runway after taking off Saturday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB. The wreckage was recovered Sunday.

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