• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

Plane mechanic: Lucky to be alive

By Alexis Fernandez 6:43 AM January 8, 2014

Crew went into combat mode after plane lost power

ANCHORAGE – Arthur Racicot said he’s lucky to be alive.

He was the mechanic in the Cessna 172RG Cutlass that ended up on a snowy median on a busy East Anchorage street Tuesday afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., Racicot, a student and a flight instructor with Land & Sea Aviation Alaska took off from Merrill Field on a maintenance flight.

A short time later, something went wrong and the plane lost power. Racicot said that’s when the crew went into combat mode.

“When any high stress situation occurs, you always fall back on training, and you really concentrate on what’s going on…you really don’t see anything else, focusing on what’s happening right there to get you out of the situation,” Racicot said.

The pilot tried to land at Campbell Airstrip, but couldn’t, so the next option was Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson, he said.

The crew then saw an open space along Boniface Parkway just south of Debarr Road.  At the last minute, the pilot decided to land the plane there and ended up on a snowy median across from Perry Drive, Racicot recalled.

“We had a pretty good pilot on board with us too — that actually landed the plane, did an excellent job not hitting any poles, or anything else,” he said.

The plane was intact, except for what appeared to be some damaged landing gear.

All three walked away without a scratch and then the reality of what had just happened started sinking in, he said.

“You get the whole picture. That’s when you start to calm down, the dangers over, and body takes back over,” he continued.

Despite the close call, Racicot finds humor in a landing that could have ended much differently.

“The biggest thing was we scared a car on the way down,” Racicot said in joking manner.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Friend remembers Brandon Merritt, 19-year-old killed in gas station shooting

    by Eric Ruble on May 29, 20:17

    Brandon Merritt had been in Alaska less than one month when he was shot and killed at a Holiday gas station on Abbott Road last week. He grew up here before moving to Hawai’i for his freshman year at Campbell High School in ‘Ewa Beach, where he met Sam Lewis. “Ever since the day we […]

  • News

    AFD calls Div. of Forestry, JBER for assistance with wildfire near East Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 18:01

    The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood. The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out […]

  • News

    Dead whale found stuck on cruise ship docking in Seward

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:26

    A dead humpback whale was found on the bow of a Holland America cruise ship Sunday morning in Seward. The Seward City News reported the Zaandam arrived at the Alaska Railroad terminal with what was initially believed to be juvenile humpback whale on the bulbous, lower bow. The whale has since been tentatively identified as […]

  • News

    DOF battles two wildfires near McGrath, one covers roughly 100 acres

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:05

    The Alaska Division of Forestry is battling two wildfires near McGrath, including one that has grown to nearly 100 acres. The larger fire, known as the Medfra fire, was reported at 10:25 a.m. and “started in an old burn area and spread into an unburned area with fresh fuel.” The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reports […]

  • News

    Firefighter: Grass fire at Glenn Highway ramp may have been started by cigarette

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 15:20

    An Anchorage firefighter at the scene of a small grass fire near the Glenn Highway Sunday told KTVA it may have been started by a cigarette butt thrown out of a passing vehicle. The fire was first reported to the fire department at 2:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. The fire was out less than […]

  • News

    Missing girl may be with her mother, who has no legal custody

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 14:53

    The Anchorage Police Department is searching for an 8-year-old girl whose mother has warrants for her arrest and doesn’t have legal custody of the girl. Nayla Demings was last seen at her father’s house on E Fifth Avenue around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Her father has full legal custody of Nayla and police said in […]

  • News

    Park Service considers visitor caps, expects record crowds

    by Associated Press on May 29, 14:15

    As the National Park Service kicks off a centennial summer expected to draw record crowds, the agency is seriously considering caps on how many people pass through some of the country’s most iconic landscapes and historical sites each day. Park managers have begun looking at whether, when and how best to manage the impact of […]

  • News

    Czech Republic man dies on Denali after 1,500-foot fall

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 12:02

    A Czech Republic man died Saturday evening while skiing on Denali, according to the National Park Service. Pavel Michut, 45, “fell roughly 1,500 feet from an elevation of 17,000 feet” on the Messner Couloir route, NPS spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri said in a statement Sunday. “The event was witnessed by multiple parties at the 14,200-foot camp […]