Alice Rogoff, publisher of Alaska Dispatch News, was the pilot and only person on board the plane that crashed during an attempted landing at Halibut Cove.
ANCHORAGE — The publisher of Alaska’s largest newspaper survived an airplane crash Sunday at a remote community south of Anchorage.
Alice Rogoff, publisher of Alaska Dispatch News, was the pilot and only person on board a floatplane that crashed during an attempted landing at Halibut Cove, a community on the southern Kenai Peninsula. She was not injured.
Alaska State Wildlife Troopers responded to the crash in a boat. The pilot was not at the scene, said spokeswoman Megan Peters. Troopers did not identify the pilot and turned the investigation over to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Clint Johnson, NTSB chief investigator, said Tuesday the agency had not spoken to the pilot but hoped to on Tuesday or Wednesday.
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“We’re in the preliminary stages of the investigation,” he said. “We hope to glean a little bit more information once we talk to the pilot.”
An attorney for Rogoff, Brent Cole, released a statement confirming Rogoff crashed after an aborted landing. She was physically fine but her Cessna 206 was damaged, he said. She was flying to Halibut Cove to attend the birthday party of former state Sen. Clem Tillion, Cole said.
“The cause of the accident is yet to be determined and she will be working with authorities to determine what happened,” he wrote.
Witnesses told the NTSB that the floatplane clipped a tree. Weather was not considered to be a factor in the crash, Johnson said.
A crash without serious injury and a healthy pilot, Johnson said, usually would call for a limited investigation.
“Typically we won’t launch on these,” he said. The NTSB instead receives a majority of its information for the investigation from the pilot.
Halibut Cove, with a population of 72, lies within Kachemak Bay State Park. It is 125 miles southwest of Anchorage and 12 miles by water taxi across Kachemak Bay from Homer.
Rogoff is the wife of financier David Rubenstein and a former chief financial officer of U.S. News and World Report. In 2009 she became majority owner of the Alaska Dispatch, an online newspaper.
Its parent company purchased the Anchorage Daily News from The McClatchy Co. for $34 million in 2014 and the name was changed to Alaska Dispatch News.