Kreindler Partners Following Mid-air Crash Involving Piper PA-12 and de Havilland DHC-2 near Soldotna, Alaska
August 3, 2020
- Kreindler is following a mid-air crash involving a Piper PA-12 and a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver that occurred approximately two miles northeast of Soldotna’s airport in Alaska.
- Kreindler partners and former military pilots Brian Alexander, Justin Green and Dan Rose (a commercially-licensed seaplane pilot) are following the crash.
Tragically, the July 31, 2020, mid-air crash involving a Piper PA-12 airplane and a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver floatplane killed all seven people aboard both aircraft. Alaska state representative Gary Knopp was the pilot of the Piper PA-12 airplane (Aircraft Registration N2587M). According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary investigation, the lawmaker was the sole occupant of the Piper PA-12 which took off from Soldotna Airport. There were six people aboard the de Havilland DHC-2 floatplane: the pilot, a tour guide and a family group of four South Carolina tourists. The de Havilland took off to the northeast of Soldotna Airport from nearby Longmere Lake. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined the planes collided around 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020.
The pilot of the de Havilland, Greg Bell, was part owner (along with his family) of High Adventure Air Charter, a business that offers custom charter and tour trips. The de Havilland Beaver was one of High Adventure Air Charter’s aircraft. Bell was flying with five passengers: David Rogers, a hunting and fishing tour guide, and a tour group of family/friends from South Carolina. Caleb Hulsey, his wife, Heather Hulsey, Mackay Hulsey and his girlfriend, Kirsten Wright, all in their 20s.
According to Anchorage Daily News, the “National Weather Service reports from the Soldotna airport for Friday morning showed clear visibility, with broken clouds at 10,000 and 4,500 feet.”
In the Media:
Kreindler’s preliminary investigation shows that the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver floatplane (N4982U Aircraft Registration) was manufactured in 1956 and owned by Soldotna Aircraft & Equipment Leasing, LLC in Soldotna, Alaska. The plane’s engine was an R-985 series, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. The Piper PA-12 (N2587M Aircraft Registration) was a 1946 model that received its airworthiness certificate in 1957. The Piper PA-12 is a fixed-wing airplane with a single Lycoming O-235 series engine.
Pilots, whether private or commercial, have a responsibility to see and avoid other planes. While U.S. airspace is vast, all aircraft must take off and land at airports, and as a result, airports are where aircraft naturally come close to each other. Not surprisingly, it is in the vicinity of airports that most mid-air collisions, like this one, occur.
No law firm in the world has represented more clients and their families following mid-air aviation collisions than Kreindler & Kreindler.
Kreindler Experience with Mid-air and Tour Collisions
Kreindler partners have handled many cases involving tours, sightseeing, private airplanes and mid-air crashes, including the Piper and de Havilland aircraft models that were involved in this tragedy.
- Kreindler partner and former Army pilot Brian Alexander represented victims of a previous Alaskan single-engine de Havilland Canada DHC-3 floatplane crash — the 2010 tragedy that killed former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.
- Kreindler partner and former U.S. Marine pilot Justin Green successfully represented victims of the 2009 Hudson River mid-air collision involving a tour helicopter and a Piper PA-32R airplane.
- Kreindler partner Dan Rose is a former Navy pilot and is a licensed seaplane pilot. Mr. Rose along with partners Brian Alexander and Justin Green have handled many mid-air crash cases.
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Kreindler has literally written the book on aviation accident law. Our partners have authored numerous highly acclaimed books, articles and treatises, including the leading treatise in the aviation litigation field, Aviation Accident Law.
About Kreindler & Kreindler
Kreindler is one of the largest and most distinguished aviation accident law firms in the world. Since 1950, our attorneys have served as lead counsel in nearly every major commercial aviation disaster litigation. Additionally, we have handled countless private, charter, military, general aviation and helicopter accident cases. Our partners have authored numerous highly-acclaimed books, articles and treatises on aviation litigation, including the leading treatise in the field, Aviation Accident Law.