Grant Aviation files suit against company that manages air traffic at Bethel


Grant Aviation is suing the company that runs air traffic control at Bethel’s airport, claiming the company is responsible for a plane crash on the runway last year.

The case follows a report last week showing that Alaska had twice as many aviation accidents as the rest of the country.

In July, a Grant Aviation Cessna 208B crashed on the Bethel runway and burst into flames. The five passengers on board only suffered minor injuries. It was a clear day with little to no wind, according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report says the pilot, who was flying in from Newtok, asked to land on a particular runway because other planes were also landing at the time. The pilot was performing a “go around” maneuver when the air traffic controller interrupted him and urgently told him to “turn left immediately.” As the pilot obeyed, he says that the plane suddenly stalled, rolled right and then crashed.

The report says that the pilot saw the flames and evacuated the passengers before fire consumed the plane. The NTSB is still investigating.

Now, Grant Aviation is suing Serco, Inc., a Virginia-based company that employs air traffic controllers in Bethel. The complaint says Serco failed to properly train employees to manage the volume of airplane traffic that was coming in. Specifically, the complaint points to the air traffic controller’s abrupt command as proof of that negligence.

The Anchorage law firm representing Grant — Richmond & Quinn — did not return emails or phone calls seeking comment. Serco declined to comment.


Serco is a crappy money eating company that just care about money !
I’ve had experiences with them


This is cool. It can only improve aviation safety for us all.

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That is a very extreme claim to make. Maybe back it up with a quick story?

Also, we should keep in mind that Alaska is a hard environment to control and fly in. Maybe Serco does fine and is just having trouble in Alaska due to the unique conditions there.


Its easy to control in Bethel, you cant hit anything unlike Port Alsworth or something like that


I’ve been there. I was more talking about the uniqueness of Alaskan airports in general.


I worked for them for 11 months at KGYR. I wouldn’t agree with your statement in its entirety, but they certainly have issues to sort out.

Some Alaska fields are part of their contract and they’re absolutely struggling to fill those slots. Most of the controllers out there are on a TDY from stateside airports Serco manages because they can’t find permanent controllers to stay out there. The lack of continuity doesn’t help, but I’d imagine there was some fault on both sides here.

I hope someone more capable can take that contract when it’s time to bid or at least source it to other countries.


Personally think the Feds should take it.

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Not worth the resources for them. No one wants to go out there for what they’d pay, Serco or FAA. It’s facility level would likely be low so you’d have to have an insanely high incentive pay for anyone to be willing.


Well, at some airports they have 2 sets of security so that they can charge the government more, at hospitals they rip you off with the car park, and they use the cheapest materials to build a hospital, and then it has issues, and I have many many more stories

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Thats fair, BET is gross Lol. I know the Feds have a hard time in the summer with summer hires at their FSS all over the State

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