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Report: Floatplane in Alaska crash that killed Annapolis businessman hit swell or wave

Federal investigators say a surviving passenger of a deadly floatplane crash in Alaska reported that the aircraft nosed over abruptly after hitting a swell or wave during takeoff, causing the cabin to quickly fill with water.

A preliminary report of the July 19 crash released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board says a witness reported the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver seemed to accelerate slowly.

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According to the report, the witness said the plane climbed up to 100 feet before descending and cartwheeling onto the water upside down with seven people on board.

A 57-year-old Annapolis tech executive, Joseph Patanella, died in the crash at the mouth of Tutka Bay south of Homer and one of his three children aboard was seriously injured.

The others either weren’t injured or suffered minor injuries.

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