NTSB Investigation of Kodiak Servant Air Crash Will Take Time

On January 5, 2008, a Servant Air Piper Navajo Chieftain with 10 people aboard crashed shortly after take off from Kodiak, Alaska. The pilot and five passengers tragically died in the crash. Surviving passengers reported that a baggage door popped open shortly after takeoff and the pilot was attempting to return to the airport. The National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) is investigating the crash. Based on recent NTSB investigations in Alaska, that may take awhile. I represented a family who lost a loved one in the crash of a PenAir Cessna Caravan 208 shortly after takeoff from the Dillingham airport on October 10, 2001. The pilot and nine passengers died in that crash. The NTSB did not release its probable cause determination until January 23, 2003 — 15 months after the crash. I am presently representing a family who lost a loved one in the crash of a PenAir Piper Saratoga PA-32 shortly after takeoff from the Pt. Heiden airport on December 14, 2006. The NTSB recently released its “factual report” on that accident just over one year after the crash. The NTSB has yet to make its probable cause determination. This illustrates why it is important for families to promptly hire counsel to independently investigate an accident and not to wait a year or more to see what the NTSB concludes about the accident. The families who have lost a loved one will typically not know what the NTSB has been up to for a year or more. In the meantime, important evidence may be lost and important witnesses may have disappeared.