Before firefighters could get to it, the de Havilland DHC3 Otter began burning just after 11 a.m. Sunday at the airport in Soldotna, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula.
“We saw the plume immediately when we left the station,” Capt. Lesley Quelland.
It was a big, black cloud of smoke visible from the station, about three driving miles from the airport, she said. Firefighters found “the aircraft was crashed off the side of the runway and it was fully involved in flames,” Quelland said.
It took crews about 10 minutes to put out the fire. Everyone died inside the plane, she said.
National Transportation Safety Board investigator Clint Johnson confirmed to The Associated Press that the dead included nine passengers and the pilot.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Otter was operated by Rediske Air, based out of another Kenai Peninsula community, Nikiski.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Meagan Peters said a fire that consumed the aircraft initially kept firefighters from reaching the wreckage. The passengers have not been identified.
Police said in a release through the Alaska State Troopers that weather at the time of the crash was reported to be cloudy with a light wind.