January 5, 2008, Kodiak, Alaska, Piper PA-31-350


At about 1348 Alaska time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with the ocean following loss of control shortly after takeoff. The airplane was being operated as an on-demand Part 135 charter flight. Of the 10 people aboard, the airline transport pilot and five passengers were fatally injured, three passengers sustained serious injuries and one passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

A surviving passenger later stated that, shortly after becoming airborne, the airplanes forward baggage door opened slightly, which startled the pilot. The pilot initiated a shallow right turn, presumably to return to the airport, and the baggage door swung fully open. The airplane continued its right turn and began a rapid, nose- and right-wing-low descent, colliding with the water. The fuselage fragmented and the airplane sank shortly after impact.


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