Update: The report of hitting an eagle appears to be untrue. Rogoff attorney Brent Cole has issued a statement saying Rogoff crashed after an aborted landing. The National Transportation Safety Board, which reports it was notified of the accident more than four hours after the crash, told the Homer News the plane apparently hit the tree after the aborted landing. The News has more here. Rogoff, according to the statement from Cole, was not injured. There were no passengers in the plane. The full statement follows:
“Yesterday, Alice Rogoff was involved in an aircraft incident in Halibut Cove after an aborted landing. She is physically fine, but her Cessna 206 airplane was damaged. The cause of the accident is yet to be determined and she will be working with authorities to determine what happened. Fortunately she was not hurt and wants to thank all the people in Halibut Cove for their generosity and good spirits. Clem Tillion’s 91th birthday party went on as planned and Ms. Rogoff was delighted to attend.”
A tourist visiting Halibut Cove from Ohio is suggesting Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff’s plane might have crashed after hitting an eagle, the national bird, on the eve of Independence Day.
“As we approached the (Cove) dock,” Ed Sweetnich wrote on his Facebook page,Ed Sweetnich wrote on his Facebook page, “a biplane crashed landed about 60 feet from our boat. An eagle had struck the plane causing it to lose 1 of the 2 pontoon boats at the bottom of the biplane needed to land. The only passenger was the pilot and we were told she was hospitalized but OK.”
None of the information could be independently confirmed, and the Dayton resident offered no indication of where he obtained the information. Cove residents have said Rogoff clipped an “eagle tree” and crashed but did not need to go to the hospital after the Sunday evening accident.
There have been no reports of any passengers on the plane.
Sweetnitch posted five photos of Rogoff’s wrecked Cessna 206, a single-engine aircraft on floats not a biplane. The photos show no visible damage to the cockpit. The airplane’s left float is missing. The left wing is broken in half outboard of the strut, but still attached.
The right strut is bent and the right wing has dropped. The damage to the right strut appears to have been caused by the right float, which is up under the wing. The damage to the super structure is significant and appears to be more than would be caused by an eagle strike.
It is, however, possible the plane could have suffered damage to its controls after hitting an eagle, and that could have led to the crash which did more damage to the airplane. There are no reports of any dead eagles, but eagle strikes are a not uncommon occurrence in Alaska where bald eagles are almost as common as robins.
This is a developing story. Rogoff has had back issues in the past, and a landing this hard would not be good for her back. Friends are expressing hope that she is OK.