Mechanical Issue May Have Caused Deadly Seaplane Crash
A U.S. Coast Guard boat and Kitsap, Wash., County Sherrif boat search the area, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, near Freeland, Wash., on Whidbey Island north of Seattle where a chartered floatplane crashed the day before. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE (AP) – U.S. investigators say a mechanical issue may have caused the seaplane crash that killed 10 people off an island in Washington state last month.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Sept. 4 crash off Whidbey Island.

Officials said Monday that it appeared a critical part that moved the plane’s horizontal tail stabilizer came apart.

The investigators said that part might have failed because a clamp nut unthreaded and rotated due to a missing or improperly installed lock ring.

The plane was a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter turboprop operated by Renton-based Friday Harbor Seaplanes.

It crashed into Puget Sound, killing the pilot and all nine passengers.

Six bodies have been recovered.

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