Josh Murdock 2010-07-20

Commercial pilot dies in crash of floatplane near Ketchikan

By BLAIRE MALONEY,, Published: July 23rd, 2010

A man died in a commercial floatplane crash this morning north of Ward Cove near Ketchikan, according to Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers.

The pilot, identified as Josh Murdock from Ketchikan. He was alone onboard, Ipsen said.

Murdock, 38, was found dead at the scene. The crash was reported around 7:30 a.m. today.

The plane, a 1959 Beaver DHC-2, is owned by Pacific Airways Inc. of Ketchikan, said Clint Johnson, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Fish boxes were found in the wreckage, according to investigators.

The plane was en route from Ketchikan to Thorne Bay when it crashed in a nonresidential area about five miles north of Ketchikan, Johnson said.

The plane was found on a knoll off the Tongass Highway in the Ward Cove area, Ipsen said.

Witnesses said the plane clipped some trees, causing it to lose its right wing before crashing, she said.

The NTSB is investigating, she said.