Flying in Alaska is Beautiful, But Can Be Dangerous

Alaska is a beautiful place. Part of its beauty is that it is rugged and remote. But as the recent Cessna Caravan crash near Saint Mary’s, Alaska, proves, it can be very hazardous for airplane passengers and pilots.

Over the past several years, Slack Davis Sanger has been asked to investigate numerous airplane crashes in Alaska and to represent the families and victims whose lives have been affected by those crashes.

We are frequently asked: Why is flying in Alaska more challenging than other states? And there is no doubt that flying in Alaska is more dangerous than in other places.

In a state that is very dependent on aviation to transport essentials such as food and fuel, in addition to people, there are several factors that make Alaskan flying so dangerous.


  • Often the only way in and out of Alaska’s remote villages, towns, and fishing and camping sites is by airplane.
  • The terrain is rugged and unforgiving.
  • Weather can be extreme and it can change quickly. VFR into IMC is a frequent cause of small airplane crashes and fatalities.
  • Pilots and operators sometimes have a “wild west” mentality that can lead to bad decision making.

Alaska is a beautiful place, but it is the most dangerous place to fly in the United States.

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