DENALI PARK, Alaska – On Thursday, July 2, at approximately 11:00 a.m. (AKT), personnel from Alaska Regional Communications Center (ARCC), located in Denali National Park and Preserve (Denali), received notification from the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) that a distress signal from a satellite emergency notification device had been activated from within the park. The IERCC confirmed that a Cessna 180 with two passengers had conducted an emergency landing southeast of the Eielson Visitor Center. The passengers were able to communicate with the ARCC via their satellite device. The passengers communicated that there were no injuries, and that they had equipment, food, and water to last several days.
ARCC staff notified Denali’s Visitor and Resource Protection staff, the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration of the incident. Park staff were immediately dispatched to the Eielson Visitor Center and began staging to provide assistance from the ground. A helicopter under contract with the park was dispatched to the scene and arrived at approximately 2:00 p.m.. The two passengers were taken by helicopter to the McKinley National Park Airport (INR), near the entrance of the park, where they were met by emergency medical services personnel from the Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and again, no injuries were reported. The park concluded operations for this incident at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
The aircraft involved in the incident was reported to be on its way to Kantisha, an area of unincorporated inholdings surrounded by the park.
Though the site is near the Eielson Visitor Center, it is not expected to be visible or to have any impact on the visitor experience. Park staff will visit the site and determine what remediation efforts may be needed.
The NTSB is currently conducting its own investigation into the incident.